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Robert D. Allison, MD, MPH

Robert D. Allison, MD, MPH, FACPM
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, FACPM


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 Associate Faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Teaching Faculty in the preventive medicine residency program and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Translational Medicine. His contributions to and expertise in public health were recognized by elections as a Fellow in the American College of Preventive Medicine (FACPM).

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 and Prevention (CDC) focal point for hepatitis B virus (HBV) control for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) 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 - the fastest vaccine roll-out in history. Prior to joining CDC, he was based in New Delhi, India as a physician-consultant to the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO) for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and measles/rubella elimination programs.

Dr. Allison rejoined DTM in 2016 as Deputy Chief under Dr. Alter, was appointed Acting Chief in 2017 and became Chief of the Infectious Diseases Section and DTM Associate Director for Research in 2018. 

His section includes: 1) the Transfusion-Transmitted Viruses Laboratory (TTVL), a CLIA-certified lab that manages blood donor testing and performs clinical diagnostic testing for HBV, HCV, HIV and other viruses to support NIH investigators performing clinical research and taking care of patients in the Clinical Center; 2) the Clinical Studies Sub-section (CSS), that manages a prospective, donor-linked hemovigilance study of transfusion-transmitted infections [ Identifier: NCT00023023], a study of the natural history of HCV infection [ Identifier: NCT00004850]; and 3) the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (MDL) that is developing a pathogen chip for simultaneous molecular detection of 30+ transfusion-transmitted bacteria, parasites and viruses and performs basic research to investigate the pathogenesis of transfusion-transmitted agents, particularly HCV. 

Dr. Allison's additional research interests include investigation of mechanisms of HBV and HCV-associated malignant transformation of B-cells, and he received a grant to study HBV and HCV-related B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas 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

Salam KA, Wang RY, Grandinetti T, De Giorgi V, Alter HJ, Allison RD. Binding of free and immune complex-associated hepatitis C virus to erythrocytes is mediated by the complement system. Hepatology. 2018 May 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Mousset CM, Hobo W, Ji Y, Fredrix H, De Giorgi V, Allison RD, Kester MGD, Falkenburg JHF, Schaap NPM, Jansen JH, Gattinoni L, Dolstra H, and Van der Waart AB.  Ex vivo AKT-inhibition facilitates generation of polyfunctional stem cell memory-like CD8+ T cells for adoptive immunotherapy.  Oncoimmunology. 2018 [Epub ahead of print]

Allison RD, Patel MK, Tohme RA. Hepatitis B vaccine birth dose coverage correlates worldwide with rates of institutional deliveries and skilled attendance at birth. Vaccine. 2017 Jul 24;35(33):4094-4098.

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 10/11/2018

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