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Neurology Chair

Dane Chetkovich, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chairman
of Neurology

Faculty By Divisions

David Robertson, M.D.

Professor of Neurology


Dr. Robertson graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1969, with a B.A. in Germanic and Slavic Languages. He attended the Arnamagnaen Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark before receiving his medical degree from Vanderbilt University Medical School in 1973. He went on to complete an internship and residency in Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Robertson was a postdoctoral fellow in Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt for two years before accepting a position as assistant chief of Service in Medicine and instructor in Medicine at Johns Hopkins in 1977.

In 1978, Robertson returned to Vanderbilt as assistant professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, became an associate professor in 1982, then rose to professor in 1986. He spent one year as a visiting professor in the Department of Molecular Endocrinology at National, then served as a visiting professor in the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at University College in London. In 1993, Robertson became director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Vanderbilt University and also took the position of director of the Division of Movement Disorders in the Department of Neurology, which he held until 2000.

Along with his current roles as professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and professor of Neurology, Robertson is currently the Elton Yates Professor of Autonomic Disorders, director of the General Clinical Research Center and director of the Center for Space Physiology and Medicine for Vanderbilt University.

Robertson currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the World Life Foundation, the NASA Microgravity Human Research Committee, the Merck Advisory Board, and the editorial boards of American Journal of Medicine, Autonomic Neuroscience and Clinical Autonomic Research. He is also associate editor for the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


Our laboratory is interested in identifying the mechanisms of neural regulation of heart rate and blood pressure in normal individuals, as well as in patients with cardiovascular, psychiatric or neurological disorders. Using a bench-to-bedside approach that merges our clinical research and our basic research, we have successfully identified the previously unrecognized disorders of dopamine -hydroxylase deficiency, baroreflex failure, and norepinephrine transporter deficiency. New therapeutic advances have been a natural follow-up to these discoveries.

Investigative strengths of our laboratory include genetic linkage studies and identification of polymorphisms in candidate genes relevant to autonomic neuroscience. The laboratory focuses on transgenic mice as models of human disease, examining whole animal physiology and using radio telemetry, power spectral analysis, bioengineering, and pharmacologic testing in phenotyping relevant knock-out mice.

Clinical Research Center Leadership