In his research program, Robbins focuses on various biological approaches to understanding and treating age-related degenerative diseases, including cancer, bone healing, and diabetes. He has developed a gene therapy approach to arthritis, and is participating in a clinical trial for osteoarthritis—a project he expects to continue at Scripps Florida. His laboratory is also studying a novel peptide for bone treatment.
Mostly recently, he has been using genetic and pharmacologic approaches to inhibitNF-κB, a protein factor that controls DNA transcription. NF-kB is involved in a number of key processes, including immune and inflammatory responses, and has been implicated in diseases ranging from cancer and arthritis to various neurodegenerative diseases.