Robert D. Allison, MD, MPH

Robert D. Allison, MD, MPH
Acting Chief, Infectious Diseases Section
Department of Transfusion Medicine

Academic Degrees
MD, Florida State University College of Medicine
MPH, University of South Florida College of Public Health
BS, The College of New Jersey


Phone: 301-451-4967

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NIH Clinical Center Senior Staff

Robert D. Allison, MD, MPH


Dr. Allison earned his M.D. from the Florida State University College of Medicine, an M.P.H. in infectious disease epidemiology from the University of South Florida College Of Public Health and a B.S. in chemistry from The College of New Jersey. He received residency training in internal medicine at the Naval Medical Center San Diego and in preventive medicine & public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was a Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) fellow (2004-5) and a post-doctoral clinical research fellow (2006-8) in the NIH Department of Transfusion Medicine (DTM) under Dr. Harvey Alter, with a focus on prevention of transfusion-transmitted infections and on the epidemiology, natural history and pathogenesis of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). He serves as Teaching Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Translational Medicine.

Dr. Allison has been actively involved in surveillance and prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the U.S. and globally for much of his career. As an active duty U.S. Navy medical officer, he served as the head of clinical quality for the Naval Medical Center San Diego and its regional healthcare system responsible for 250,000 patients. Before returning to DTM, he was the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) focal point for hepatitis B virus (HBV) control for the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) based in Cairo, Egypt and he studied viral hepatitis-related cancers as a medical epidemiologist in the CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis. During the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa (2014-15) he served on the CDC Ebola Vaccine Task Force and implemented the Ebola vaccine clinical trial on the ground in Sierra Leone. Prior to joining CDC, he was based in New Delhi, India as a physician-consultant to the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Dr. Allison rejoined DTM in 2016 as the Deputy Chief, Clinical Studies under Dr. Alter, and was appointed Acting Chief of the Infectious Diseases Section in 2017. His section includes the Transfusion-Transmitted Viruses Laboratory (TTVL), a CLIA-certified lab that manages blood donor testing (including Zika virus under an IND) and performs molecular diagnostic testing for HBV, HCV, HIV and other viruses to support NIH investigators performing clinical research in the Clinical Center; the Clinical Studies Sub-Section, that manages a prospective, donor-linked hemovigilance study of transfusion-transmitted infections; and the Molecular Diagnostics Virology Laboratory that is developing a pathogen chip for simultaneous molecular detection of up to 30 transfusion-transmitted bacteria, parasites and viruses and performs basic research to investigate the pathogenesis of transfusion-transmitted agents, particularly HCV and Zika virus. Dr. Allison's additional research interests include investigation of mechanisms of viral hepatitis-related malignant transformation of B-cells, and he received a grant to study HBV and HCV-related B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Mongolia, where the prevalence of HBV and HCV are the highest in the world.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Kass Award, Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • NIH Intramural HIV/AIDS Research Loan Repayment Awardee
  • Navy Meritorious Unit Citations
  • Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
    • "Employed Exceptional Managerial Expertise While Directing Resources for Improving and Reengineering the Inpatient and Outpatient Divisions…Under His Guidance, Naval Medical Center San Diego Achieved (Joint Commission) Top Performing Hospital Status..." –Vice Admiral C. Forrest Faison, III, U.S. Navy Surgeon General, 2015–

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Allison RD, Kottilil S. (2009). Host immune responses in HIV infection. Chapter in RNA Viruses: Host Gene Responses to Infections. Edited by Decheng Yang, World Scientific Publishing Co., Hackensack, NJ.

Journal Articles

Allison RD, Teleb N, Al Awaidy S, Ashmony H, Alexander JP, Patel MK. Hepatitis B control among children in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the World Health Organization. Vaccine. 2016;34(21):2403-2409.

Allison RD, Hale SA, Harvey BJ, Hudson T, Livingston C, Sherin KM, Uduhiri KA, Niebuhr DW. The American College of Preventive Medicine Position Statement on Hepatitis C Virus Infection. Am J Prev Med. 2016;50(3):419-426.

Allison RD, Tong X, Moorman AC, Ly KN, Rupp L, Xu F, Gordon SC, Holmberg SD. Increased incidence of cancer and cancer-related mortality among persons with chronic hepatitis C infection, 2006-2010. J Hepatol. 2015;63(4):822-828.

O'Connor PM, Allison RD, Thapa A, Bahl S, Chunsuittiwat S, Hasan M, Khan Z, Sedai T. Update on polio eradication in the World Health Organization South-East Asia region, 2013. J Infect Dis. 2014 Nov 1;210 Suppl 1:S216-224.

Fujiwara K, Allison RD, Wang RYH, Bare P, Schechterly C, Marincola FM, Alter HJ. Investigation of residual hepatitis C virus in presumed recovered subjects. Hepatology. 2013 Feb;57(2):483-491.

Allison RD, Conry-Cantilena C, Koziol D, Schechterly C, Ghany MG, Kleiner DE, Ness P, Gibble J, Alter HJ. A 25-year retrospective-prospective study of the clinical and histologic outcomes of HCV infection and its modes of transmission in a cohort of initially asymptomatic blood donors. J Infect Dis. 2012;206(5):654-661.

Makuria AT, Raghuraman S, Burbelo PD, Cantilena CC, Allison RD, Gibble J, Ness P, Rehermann B, Alter HJ. The clinical relevance of persistent recombinant immunoblot assay-indeterminate reactions: insights into the natural history of hepatitis C virus infection and implications for donor counseling. Transfusion. 2012 Sep;52(9):1940-1948.

Allison RD, Katsounas A, Koziol DE, Kleiner DE, Alter HJ, Lempicki RA, Wood B, Yang J, Fullmer B, Cortez KJ, Polis MA, Kottilil S. Interleukin-15 induced peripheral immune activation is associated with hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation in HIV/HCV co-infected individuals. J Infect Dis. 2009;200(4):619-623.

Medical Ethics

Allison RD, Abbott LJ, Wichman A. Roles and experiences of Non-scientist institutional review board members at the National Institutes of Health. IRB: Ethics & Human Research. 2008;30(5):8-13.

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This page last updated on 08/11/2017

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