Robert Blank, MD, PhD
Chief of Endocrinology
Professor of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology
Department of Medicine
Rob Blank is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Endocrinology Division at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Previously, he spent 12 years at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, where he was Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program. He holds undergraduate degrees from Columbia University (history and philosophy of science) and the University of Cambridge (genetics). He earned his MD and PhD (basic medical sciences/biochemistry) degrees at New York University and trained in internal medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell. He remained at Weill Cornell and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for an endocrinology fellowship. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University. On completing his training, he remained at the tri-institutional campus as a faculty member at the Hospital for Special Surgery and the Weill-Cornell College of Medicine before moving to the University of Wisconsin in 2000.
Dr. Blank's laboratory studies the genetics of bone biomechanical performance and of vertebral development, primarily in mice. They are particularly interested in understanding the relationship among different aspects of biomechanical performance and the mechanisms underlying pleiotropy of bone quantitative trait loci. They are currently studying a quantitative trait locus that affects multiple aspects of bone size and shape, whose pleiotropy extends to include important cardiovascular and reproductive phenotypes. Fully understanding the underlying biology is a prominent goal of their present work. They are also interested in understanding the genetic basis of congenital vertebral malformations and idiopathic scoliosis.
Throughout his career, Dr. Blank has been actively engaged in education. At the University of Wisconsin, in addition to his role in the Medical Scientist Training Program, he was a trainer in the Cellular and Molecular Biology, Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology, Biotechnology, and the Vascular Surgery Research training programs. He was the moderator of ICTR KL2 Scholars manuscript and grant writing workshops and a member of the Institute on Aging. He is the author of several articles on educational topics.
In the clinic, Dr. Blank focuses on metabolic bone disease, disorders of mineral metabolism, and genetic endocrine diseases.