Bob Kolb awarded for 35 years of service

After dedicating 35 years of service to advancing clinical research at the University of Florida, Bob Kolb, RN, MS, CCRC was presented with a Meritorious Service Award during a celebration of his career and accomplishments at the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. 

Bob began his career at the University of Utah as an RN on an oncology research unit after graduating from the Englewood School of Nursing in 1977. In this position, Bob developed a deep appreciation for clinical research and the role academic medical centers play in improving health across all populations.

Stephen Kimmel presents a Meritorious Service Award certificate to Bob Kolb
Stephen Kimmel, MD, MSCE, presents a Meritorious Service Award certificate to Bob Kolb, RN, MS, CCRC at a celebration of his career and accomplishments.

This appreciation for research eventually led Bob to the University of Florida, where he joined the growing research team of Carl Pepine, MD, in UF’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.  Over the next 15 years as part of this team Bob helped coordinate efforts to better understand the impact of silent myocardial ischemia, a condition in which oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart is restricted or reduced. Unlike other forms of ischemia, however, silent ischemia occurs without pain or other obvious symptoms, leaving patients unaware of their condition. Left untreated, this disease can significantly increase a patient’s risk for a heart attack. Bob’s participation with the Pepine team contributed to  several key publications dedicated to assessing possible treatment options for this condition.  

Bob’s dedication to improving health outcomes for patients with heart disease resulted in his appointment as project manager of the International Verapamil Sr/trandolapril Study, or INVEST. This $38 MIL study compared the efficacy of two pharmacotherapies in controlling hypertension for patients with coronary artery disease. This international, multi-site study spanned 862 study sites in 14 countries, becoming the first long-term, large-scale clinical trial conducted primarily using web-based technology. 

Moving from cardiology, Bob further committed to clinical research, ethics and integrity by being appointed research subject advocate, or RSA, in UF’s former General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). However, this role expanded four years later when UF received a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. From this award, UF founded its Clinical and Translational Science Institute, or CTSI, where Bob would spend the remainder of his career providing leadership, research guidance, ethical input and regulatory assistance.

Bob’s knowledge, experience and compassion as a research professional allowed him to become a vital member of every team or project he took part in, whether as a research coordinator, project manager, or as Assistant Director for Clinical Research in the UF CTSI.  As assistant director, Bob helped researchers and research professionals across the academic health center and beyond learn how to conduct research in responsible, ethical and equitable manner. He served as expert advisor for all stages of clinical research, from proposal to protocol development and implementation assisting in all levels of clinical research.

Bob’s passion for clinical research also extended to developing and training the research professional workforce.  As part of Harvard’s Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competency (JTF), an international team of investigators, educators and clinical research professionals, Bob leveraged his experience and expertise to help reframe concepts of research. Additionally, through the CTSI’s Translational Workforce Development (TWD) program, he helped cultivate a culture of competence for the research workforce where professionals expertly coordinate and manage all forms of clinical research.

In every role he fulfilled, Bob demonstrated exceptional dedication to clinical research and patient advocacy up until his official retirement in September 2022. Because of this, the CTSI celebrates his meritorious service to UF’s clinical research landscape and the development of its excellent research professional workforce.