SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
13 August 2015
Volume 16 Issue 8

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In Memoriam: Joseph Arlen Robinson

Mike Moseley, Zoetis, Jon Ericson, Pfizer, and Mike Williams, CSIRO

Joe Robinson

Joseph “Joe” Arlen Robinson passed away on 18 June 2015. He was born in Minot, North Dakota, on 2 June 1953. His early childhood was spent in the west, where he developed his love of cowboys and western history. Joe completed two BSc degrees at Lake Superior State College and Michigan State University (MSU), a direct PhD program in microbiology at MSU, and his postdoctoral research at Montana State University. In the fall of 1984, Joe was offered a position as research scientist at Upjohn in Kalamazoo, Michigan. During his 30-plus years in Animal Health at Upjohn, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Pharmacia, Pfizer and Zoetis, Joe had a tremendous influence on programs, projects and people in discovery and development.

Recently, Joe was a Research Fellow in Laboratory Sciences–Metabolism & Safety and specialized in the development of environmental risk assessments in support of registration of the global product portfolio. He was considered an excellent scientist and communicator, internally and externally, with expansive interactions with US and international regulatory authorities and was a member of the SETAC Pharmaceuticals Advisory Group steering committee. Joe utilized his scientific and statesmanship skills along with his knowledge of regulations to help guide several international policy teams to design and implement guidelines and legislation concerning the impact of pharmaceutical products in the environment.

Three examples of his exemplary work as a scientist in animal health include his co-leadership of the Veterinary International Conference on Harmonization (VICH) Environmental Assessment Working Group to develop international animal health guidelines; his leadership of the first environmental life cycle assessment for a veterinary product (Improvac), proving with recognized and peer-reviewed modeling the use of Improvac/Improvest has a beneficial carbon-footprint impact on the environment; and his leadership of the environmental assessment (EA) team who constructed, defended and received approval of the most comprehensive EA the FDA/CVM has ever reviewed for Synovex ONE implant for cattle in the US. These highlight the international scientific recognition and enormous business impact Joe had on behalf of the animal health industry and specifically Zoetis.

Memorials in Joe's honor, may be made to the following address:
W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Development Office
Attn: Sarah Carroll
3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060

You can also call (269) 671-2444 or email Please put “Joe Robinson” in the memo area. For obituary and condolences, please see Joe's personalized page at

Authors’ contact information:, and

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