Amassing more than five decades of professional experience, Robert Regier Rich, MD, is a venerated and prominent physician, medical educator and researcher who has earned the rank of dean and professor emeritus at the University of Alabama since 2017. He remains an associate vice president and associate vice provost of Inter-profile Education at the University of Alabama since 2014, having been a professor of medical education from 2012 to 2017 and a professor of medicine and microbiology from 2004 to 2017. Prior to these illustrious roles, Dr. Rich served a number of academic facilities, including the Emory University, Baylor University, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Alongside his primary endeavors, Dr. Rich has held such prestigious roles as chairman of the board of directors of the Center of Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, co-chairman of the advisory panel on conflicts of interest research at the Association of the American Medical College, member of the national human research protections advisory committee with the department of health and human services at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Skin Diseases, chairman of the Arthritis Foundation, and the chairman of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, among several others. In addition, he was elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
To prepare for his illustrious career, Dr. Rich obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in 1962. He subsequently received a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Kansas in 1966. Afterward, he completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington, and subsequently served as a clinical associate, chief clinical associate and senior staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Rich has also been a prolific author and editor, having served as an editor-in-chief of “Clinical Immunology: Principles and Practice” from its first through fifth edition between 1996 and 2018. He considers his involvement with the textbook to be the highlight of his career. In addition, he acted as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Immunology from 2003 to 2008 and has served on the editorial boards of Clinical and Experimental Immunology and the Journal of Clinical Immunology. Furthermore, he has contributed myriad articles to professional journals and was the editor-in-chief of the American Association of Immunologists Oral History Project.
In recognition of his exceptional contributions to medicine, Dr. Rich was honored with the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in 2012, and the Distinguished Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Immunologists in 2008 and 1999, respectively. Likewise, he earned the Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health in 1987 and the Research Career Development Award from 1975 to 1977.
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