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Robert E. Maxson, Jr.

Last updated 10/11/2021

Robert E. Maxson, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Robert E. Maxson, Jr. has built a distinguished legacy as a scientist, researcher, and advocate of interdisciplinary work at the Keck School. By helping establish a world-renowned program in craniofacial research at USC, he has advanced the treatment and prevention of devastating birth defects. He has also served as a driving force in the growth of developmental biology and stem cell research at Keck and helped bridgework across disciplines throughout a career spanning more than four decades. 

Professor Maxson’s work encompasses several areas of biology, particularly the study of genetics. Among his discoveries, he identified two genes responsible for the premature closure of skull sutures, giving doctors a new approach in preventing this developmental condition. Additionally, he published a number of influential papers on the proteins found in sea urchin DNA, which deepen our understanding of the processes that govern our own genetic materials.

Throughout the Keck community, Professor Maxson is known as a beloved instructor and a caring mentor. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has spearheaded the development of several graduate programs and research initiatives at Keck. In particular, his leadership has helped the school cultivate game-changing research initiatives, such as the founding of the Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.

Professor Maxson’s gift for bringing people together speaks to the warmth and wisdom that informs his work with students, colleagues, and mentees. He brings great humanity to cutting-edge science – and sets a stellar example for so many in our scholarly community. 

Read more about Professor Maxson here.

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For his enduring impact on several scientific fields, and for his extraordinary dedication in teaching and mentoring the Keck community, the University of Southern California is proud to recognize Robert E. Maxson, Jr. with the USC Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award.