Robert E. Sobol


Robert E. Sobol, M.D. has over 25 years of entrepreneur and management experience in the San Diego biotechnology community. Dr. Sobol has pioneered the development of novel biological cancer therapies in the fields of immune oncology and gene therapy.  He has founded, held senior management positions, and served on the Board of Directors of numerous biotechnology companies. He was on the research faculty of the medical school and cancer center at UC, San Diego from 1982 to 1986 when he co-founded Idec Pharmaceuticals which later merged with Biogen to become one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies and pioneered the use of monoclonal antibodies for cancer therapy.  Dr. Sobol also co-founded one of the world’s first gene therapy companies, Genesys Therapeutics with UCSD colleagues Drs. Theodore Friedmann, Fred Gage and Ivor Royston.  Dr. Sobol was affiliated with the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego since its inception in 1990 where he served in various scientific and management capacities.  He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Gene Therapy, a Nature Publishing Group journal. He is also past President of the International Society of Cell and Gene Therapy for Cancer and served on the Clinical Program Review Committee of the National Cancer Institute.

In addition to Biogen Idec Inc. and GeneSys Therapeutics Corp, Dr. Sobol was a co-founder, senior executive, and board member of GenStar Therapeutics Corp and Corautus Genetics Inc.   Dr. Sobol trained in internal medicine and oncology at the University of Southern California (USC) Medical Center, Mercy Hospital in San Diego and UCSD receiving board certifications in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He is an internationally recognized physician-scientist in the fields of immune oncology and gene therapy. Dr. Sobol received an M.D. from The Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School and a B.A. in Philosophy from Boston University.

Dr. Sobol is known for his highly devoted efforts, working weekends and holidays, encouraging his colleagues by example and with the following admonition—“When cancer takes a holiday, we can take a holiday.…...”

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