Robin Voigt-Zuwala, PhD

Associate Professor 
Department of Internal Medicine, Rush Medical College
Role: Faculty and Researcher
Joined Rush in 2010


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at Rush University Medical Center. I received my BS in Biology in 2002 from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and have completed my PhD in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Loyola University Chicago in 2010. I also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in the Department of Internal Medicine at Loyola in 2012, when I was appointed an Assistant Professor. I was then named an Associate Professor in 2020. I have also been Principle Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I) on numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2007, I received a pre-doctoral research fellowship (F31) from the National Institute Drug Abuse (NIDA), which helped support my dissertation research. This research was focused on the role of the GABAB receptor in methamphetamine addiction. During my time as a post-doctoral research fellow and as an Assistant Professor, I studied the gut-brain axis and was Co-I on several NIH funded projects. Currently, I have an R01 from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) to study the role of the intestinal microbiome in cognition / Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, I have 44 peer reviewed publications, an h-index of 23, and I am a reviewer for many journals. I have also served on several NIH study sections.

What inspired you to get into your field?

My grandfather had multiple sclerosis (MS), so I wanted to do research on MS. While I have yet to do research on MS, I do research on many other neurodegenerative diseases and look forward to including MS in my portfolio at some point!

What excited you about your work at Rush?

I am lucky enough to get to interact with an incredibly diverse group of people (clinicians and bench researchers) in my role at Rush. These opportunities expand what I know and allow me to apply this new knowledge to my research interests. Best of all, these discussions sometimes lead to really successful collaborations.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship? Please comment about your experiences.

Being mentored is critical, but mentoring does not have to be formal to be meaningful. Asking questions is a great way to learn from others.

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

Good scientists push each other to be better and challenge ideas in a constructive way. Find a group you are comfortable with so you can ask questions and receive meaningful feedback.

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy being at the gym, traveling around the world and hanging out with my pup.