Robert Stern, MD

Professor of Pathology, Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences

  • Office: 230 West 125th Street, Room 419
  • Campus:
    Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Harlem
  • Phone:
    (646) 981-4611
  • Email:

Robert Stern graduated from Harvard College in 1957, and obtained the M.D. degree from the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1962, followed by a rotating internship at King County Hospital (Seattle). While a medical student, he worked in the laboratories of Drs. Krebs and Fisher, who subsequently became Nobel laureates. He received his resident training in Anatomic Pathology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, and was a research scientist at the NIH for 14 years, 1963-1977. From 1977 to 2007, he was a member of the Pathology Department at the University of California, San Francisco. He is now Professor Emeritus.

He is a board-certified Anatomic Pathologist, and participated in the research, teaching, administrative, and diagnostic activities of the Department, and a member of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. He directed the Ph.D. program in Experimental Pathology for ten years, from 1977-87.

For the past two decades, his research has focused on hyaluronan and the hyaluronidases, an outgrowth of an interest in connective tissue, stromal-epithelial interactions, and biology of the extracellular matrix. His laboratory was the first to identify the family of hyaluronidase sequences in the human genome. These enzymes were sequenced, expressed, and characterized in his laboratory. Subsequent work has identified a catabolic pathway for hyaluronan. He currently has approximately 250 publications, all centered on these topics.

Dr. Stern was a Fulbright scholar in Germany (1984-5). He has also won teaching awards from students of the School of Medicine, UCSF. He was a member of the editorial boards of Matrix Biology, and the University of California Press. After retirement in 2007, he took a position teaching Pathology and doing research at the first Palestinian School of Medicine, Al Quds University, in Abu-Dies in East Jerusalem, West Bank, Israel.

Since 2009, he has been a Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Touro-Harlem College of Osteopathic Medicine, in New York City.

Courses TaughtPathology (2nd year)

Education/TrainingHarvard B.A.
U. Washington (Seattle) MD
Pathology Residency NIH/NCI

Board CertificationAnatomic Pathology

Academic AppointmentsProfessor Emeritus-Al Quds University School of Medicine, East Jerusalem, Israel

Professor Emeritus-University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Professional AffiliationsISHAS (International Society for Hyaluronan Science

Matrix Biology

Fellowships/HonorsFulbright Scholar (1984-5). Max Planck Institute, Germany

Areas of ResearchHyaluronan (HA)


Extracellular Matrix Biology

Selected PublicationsCsoka, A., Stern, R. Hypotheses on the Evolution of Hyaluronan: A Highly Ironic Acid. Glycobiology, 23, 398-411, 2013.

Michunovich, AM. Stern, R. Potential new dimension in dermatology: The osteopathic approach to cutaneous disease. Amer. Assoc. Osteopath. J. 23, 34- 38, 2013.

Aya K., Stern R. Hyaluronan in wound healing: rediscovering a major player. Wound Repair and Regen. 22, 579-593, 2014.

Grants/FundingTouro Faculty Seed Research Fund (2012-13)

Community ServiceDBGM (Depressed Black Gay Males) 2012-2014

Student OrganizationsFaculty Advisor:

- Pathology Club
- Emergency Medicine Club
- LGBT-Rainbow Coalition