Area of Research

Bethesda, MD
United States


Merlin Robb, MD

HJF Chief Medical Officer

Merlin Robb, MD, HJF’s Chief Medical Officer, is currently serving as part of Operation Warp Speed, which is a federal initiative created to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Robb was appointed as co-chair of the clinical trials sub-group within the Vaccine Group. “The goal is to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021,” he says. 

Man in blue suit


As a national public-private partnership, Operation Warp Speed is a collaboration among the government, military, academia, and industry. A number of HJF partners are involved, including the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By investing in and coordinating countermeasure development, Operation Warp Speed will allow countermeasures, such as a vaccine, to be delivered to patients more rapidly while adhering to standards for safety and efficacy. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper oversee the program. Congress has directed almost $10 billion to this effort through supplemental funding, including the CARES Act.

“HJF staff worldwide are supporting COVID-19 response efforts with our government and industry partners,” says HJF President and CEO Joseph Caravalho, M.D. “Selecting Dr. Robb for this post is a sign of this team’s commitment to excellence and results.”