Research Horizons


Robbins Retires, Molkentin Named Director of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology

After a distinguished 25-year career at Cincinnati Children’s, cardiovascular biology expert Jeffrey Robbins, PhD, has retired from his administrative positions at the Heart Institute.

His replacement is long-time colleague Jeffery Molkentin, PhD, who now serves as Director of the Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology (MCB) and as an executive co-director of the Heart Institute.

When Robbins came to Cincinnati Children’s in 1993, there was no Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology (MCB). The Heart Institute wasn’t yet established, and the Division of Sports Medicine didn’t exist. Robbins had a hand in developing all of these. During his time here, he also has served as associate chair of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation

The MCB is the only one of its kind in the U.S. The basic scientists and physician-researchers here explore normal and abnormal cardiac function and development.


Molkentin joined the MCB in 1997, directly from his fellowship. His goal was to lead a laboratory focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of heart and skeletal muscle disease. His successes led to him becoming a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2008.

Molkentin has published many important findings, including a 2014 paper in Nature that has been recognized as one of Cincinnati Children’s most significant discoveries of 2010-15. 

“I think the Heart Institute has taken on a stature of national prominence and I want to keep that going,” says Molkentin. “I’m looking forward to bringing in more young talent, getting them up to speed and having them contribute to our cardiovascular research.”

Learn more about how the Heart Institute integrates clinical care and research to develop new and effective treatments for children with heart disease.