Rob is a Canadian who completed his PhD training at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland where he worked with Prof. Adrian Bird studying the DNA methylation system. He then moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the US where he worked with Prof. Yi Zhang identifying a novel family of histone lysine demethylase enzymes. In 2008 Rob moved to the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and Principal Investigator continuing his work aimed at understanding how chromatin based and epigenetic processes contribute to gene regulation.
In recognition of the discoveries his group has made, in 2010 Rob was selected as a member of the EMBO young investigator programme, in 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Lister Institute Research Prize, in 2015 he was awarded the Francis Crick Medal and Lecture by the Royal Society, and in 2021 he was elected as a full EMBO Member. Within the Department of Biochemistry at Oxford, Rob was promoted to the position of Professor of Molecular in Cell biology in 2014 and in 2017 was named Chair and Professor of Genetics . Rob has been the Deputy Head of Department (Research) since 2020 and in addition to his research programme Rob enjoys contributing extensively to teaching on the undergraduate degree in Biochemistry.