Robert Norgren, PhD



Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
985805 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5805

Lab Website


PhD, Columbia University, 1988

Academic Appointments:
Co-Director, COM Neurosciences Block

Honors & Awards:
M1 Golden Apple Award, UNMC, 2021
Distinguished Scientist Award, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2008
Alvin Earle Outstanding Health Science Educator Award, 2001
M1 Golden Apple Award, UNMC, 1997
Research Career Development Award (KO4), The National Institutes of Health, 1995
M1 Golden Apple Award, UNMC, 1995

Dr. Norgren's research is currently focused on the use of nonhuman primate genomics to better understand human genetic disease. Work in the Norgren Laboratory resulted in a novel approach to the production of the Rhesus Macaque GeneChip, a device for measuring the expression of tens of thousands of genes at the same time. You can read more about how the rhesus genechip was invented here: "Novel approach results in first-ever rhesus macaque whole-genome array". In collaboration with Aleksey Zimin and other researchers, a new assembly and annotation of the rhesus genome was recently completed. This work was highlighted in Genome Technology: 'The Other Primates'. For more information on current research in the Norgren Lab check out the Lab webpage.

Publications listed in PubMed


  1. Ward MD, Brueggemann EE, Kenny T, Reitstetter RE, Mahone CR, Trevino S, Wetzel K, Donnelly GC, Retterer C, Norgren RB Jr, Panchal RG, Warren TK, Bavari S, Cazares LH. Characterization of the plasma proteome of nonhuman primates during Ebola virus disease or melioidosis: a host response comparison. Clin Proteomics. 2019 Feb 7;16:7. doi: 10.1186/s12014-019-9227-3. eCollection 2019. PMID: 30774579 
  2. Woollard SM, Olwenyi OA, Dutta D, Dave RS, Mathews S, Gorantla S, Johnson N, Giavedoni L, Norgren RB Jr, Byrareddy SN. Pathogens. Preliminary Studies on Immune Response and Viral Pathogenesis of Zika Virus in Rhesus Macaques. 2018 Aug 20;7(3):70. doi: 10.3390/pathogens7030070. PMID: 30127237 
  3. Palesch D, Bosinger SE, Tharp GK, Vanderford TH, Paiardini M, Chahroudi A, Johnson ZP, Kirchhoff F, Hahn BH, Norgren RB, Patel NB, Sodora DL, Dawoud RA, Stewart CB, Seepo SM, Harris RA, Liu Y, Raveendran M, Han Y, English A, Thomas GWC, Hahn MW, Pipes L, Mason CE, Muzny DM, Gibbs RA, Sauter D, Worley K, Rogers J, Silvestri G. Nature. Sooty mangabey genome sequence provides insight into AIDS resistance in a natural SIV host. 2018 Jan 3;553(7686):77-81. doi: 10.1038/nature25140. PMID: 29300007 
  4. Lockridge O, Norgren RB Jr, Johnson RC, Blake TA. Chem Res Toxicol. Naturally Occurring Genetic Variants of Human Acetylcholinesterase and Butyrylcholinesterase and Their Potential Impact on the Risk of Toxicity from Cholinesterase Inhibitors. 2016 Sep 19;29(9):1381-92. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.6b00228. Epub 2016 Aug 31. PMID: 27551784 
  5. Cornish AS, Gibbs RM, Norgren RB Jr. BMC Genomics. Exome screening to identify loss-of-function mutations in the rhesus macaque for development of preclinical models of human disease.  2016 Mar 2;17:170. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2509-5. PMID: 26935327 
  6. Maudhoo MD, Madison JD, Norgren RB Jr. Gigascience. De novo assembly of the chimpanzee transcriptome from NextGen mRNA sequences. 2015 Apr 18;4:18. doi: 10.1186/s13742-015-0061-x. eCollection 2015. PMID: 25897398 
  7. Zimin AV, Cornish AS, Maudhoo MD, Gibbs RM, Zhang X, Pandey S, Meehan DT, Wipfler K, Bosinger SE, Johnson ZP, Tharp GK, Marçais G, Roberts M, Ferguson B, Fox HS, Treangen T, Salzberg SL, Yorke JA, Norgren RB Jr. A new rhesus macaque assembly and annotation for next-generation sequencing analyses.. Biol Direct. 2014 Oct 14;9(1):20. doi: 10.1186/1745-6150-9-20. PMID: 25319552 
  8. Maudhoo MD, Ren D, Gradnigo JS, Gibbs RM, Lubker AC, Moriyama EN, French JA, Norgren RB Jr. Gigascience. De novo assembly of the common marmoset transcriptome from NextGen mRNA sequences. 2014 Sep 19;3:14. doi: 10.1186/2047-217X-3-14. eCollection 2014. PMID: 25243066.
  9. Sandler NG, Bosinger SE, Estes JD, Zhu RT, Tharp GK, Boritz E, Levin D, Wijeyesinghe S, Makamdop KN, del Prete GQ, Hill BJ, Timmer JK, Reiss E, Yarden G, Darko S, Contijoch E, Todd JP, Silvestri G, Nason M, Norgren RB Jr, Keele BF, Rao S, Langer JA, Lifson JD, Schreiber G, Douek DC. Nature. Type I interferon responses in rhesus macaques prevent SIV infection and slow disease progression. 2014 Jul 31;511(7511):601-5. doi: 10.1038/nature13554. Epub 2014 Jul 9. PMID: 25043006
  10. Norgren RB Jr. ILAR J. Improving genome assemblies and annotations for nonhuman primates.  2013;54(2):144-53. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ilt037. PMID: 2417443
  11. Zhang X, Goodsell J, Norgren RB Jr. BMC Genomics. Limitations of the rhesus macaque draft genome assembly and annotation. 2012 May 30;13:206. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-206. PMID: 22646658
  12. Meehan DT, Zink MA, Mahlen M, Nelson M, Sanger WG, Mitalipov SM, Wolf DP, Ouellette MM, Norgren RB Jr. BMC Biotechnol. Gene targeting in adult rhesus macaque fibroblasts. 2008 Mar 26;8:31. doi: 10.1186/1472-6750-8-31. PMID: 18366794
  13. Duan F, Spindel ER, Li YH, Norgren RB Jr. BMC Genomics. Intercenter reliability and validity of the rhesus macaque GeneChip. 2007 Feb 28;8:61. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-8-61. PMID: 17328815  
  14. Spindel ER, Pauley MA, Jia Y, Gravett C, Thompson SL, Boyle NF, Ojeda SR, Norgren RB Jr. BMC Genomics. Leveraging human genomic information to identify nonhuman primate sequences for expression array development. 2005 Nov 15;6:160. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-6-160. PMID: 16288651 
  15. Wolf DP, Mitalipov S, Norgren RB Jr. Nuclear transfer technology in mammalian cloning. Arch Med Res. 2001 Nov-Dec;32(6):609-13. doi: 10.1016/s0188-4409(01)00324-1. PMID: 11750737