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Robert Root-Bernstein

Professor of Physiology, Michigan State University

Robert Root-Bernstein (Ph.D., Princeton University) is a professor of physiology at Michigan State University. His AB and PhD are from Princeton University. He did his post-doctoral research with Jonas Salk, MD, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In 1981, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "genius grant." His research focuses on autoimmune diseases, drug development, the origins of cellular control systems, and science-arts interactions.

He has also researched and consulted on creativity for more than fifteen years. Among other books, he has authored Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People; Honey, Mud, Maggots and Other Medical Marvels; Discovering: Inventing and Solving Problems at the Frontiers of Scientific Knowledge, and Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus.


  • 1987–present
    Professor of Physiology, Michigan State University


  • 1980 
    Princeton University, Ph. D.
  • 1975 
    Princeton University, Ph. D.

Grants and Contracts

  • 2012
    Exploring Public Engagement with Real-Time Experimentation in Different Public Venues
    Funding Source:
    National Science Foundation (USA)


MacArthur Fellow