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Robin Brian Cook Edit Profile

also known as Robert Brian Cook

physician , writer

Dr. Robin Cook (born Robert Brian Cook) is an American physician and novelist who writes about medicine and topics affecting public health.

He is best known for combining medical writing with the thriller genre. Many of his books have been bestsellers on the New York Times Bestseller List. Several of his books have also been featured in Reader's Digest. His books have sold nearly 100 million copies.


Cook is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He finished his postgraduate medical training at Harvard.


Cook ran the Cousteau Society's blood-gas lab in the south of France. He later became an aquanaut with the U.S. Navy's SEALAB program when he was drafted in 1969. Cook served in the Navy from 1969 to 1971, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. He wrote his first novel, The Year of the Intern, while serving on the Polaris submarine USS Kamehameha.

Cook is a private member of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees, led by chairman Joseph B. Gildenhorn, are appointed to six-year terms by the President of the United States.

Doctor and author Robin Cook is widely credited with introducing the word "medical" to the thriller genre, and thirty-four years after the publication of his breakthrough novel, Coma, he continues to dominate the category he created. Cook has successfully combined medical fact with fantasy to produce a succession of twenty-eight New York Times bestsellers that have been translated into forty some languages. To date, they include Outbreak (1987), Mindbend (1988), Mutation (1989), Harmful Intent (1990), Vital Signs (1991), Blindsight (1992), Terminal (1993), Fatal Cure (1994), Acceptable Risk (1995), Contagion (1996), Chromosome 6 (1997), Toxin (1998), Vector (1999), Shock (2001), Seizure (2003), Marker (2005), Crisis (2006), Critical (2007), Foreign Body (2008), and Intervention (2009). Putnam published Cook's most recent novel, Cure, on August 10, 2010.

In each of his novels, Robin Cook strives to elucidate various medical/biotech ethical issues. Dr. Cook says he chose to write thrillers as a way to use entertainment as a method of exposing the public to public policy conundrums such as genetic engineering, medical economics, in vitro fertilization, research funding, managed care, drug research, organ transplantation, stem cell research, concierge medicine, and M.D.-owned specialty hospitals.

There have been numerous theatrical movies, television movies, and mini-series made from Robin Cook's work. In addition to the successful feature film Coma, in December 1993, CBS-TV aired "Robin Cook's Harmful Intent"; in November 1994 NBC-TV aired "Robin Cook's Mortal Fear"; in May 1995, NBC-TV aired "Robin Cook's Virus," based on Outbreak; in February 1996 NBC-TV aired "Robin Cook's Terminal"; in 1997 NBC-TV aired "Robin Cook's Invasion"; and in October 2001 TNT-TV aired "Robin Cook's Acceptable Risk".


  • book

    • Year of the Intern (1972)

    • Coma (1977)

    • Sphinx (1979)

    • Brain (1981)

    • Fever (1982)

    • Godplayer (1983)

    • Mindbend (1985)

    • Outbreak (1987)

    • Mortal Fear (1988)

    • Mutation (1989)

    • Harmful Intent (1990)

    • Vital Signs (1991)

    • Blindsight (1992)

    • Terminal (1993)

    • Fatal Cure (1994)

    • Acceptable Risk (1994)

    • Contagion (1995)

    • Chromosome 6 (1997)

    • Invasion (1997)

    • Toxin (1998)

    • Vector (1999)

    • Abduction (2000)

    • Shock (2001)

    • Seizure (2003)

    • Marker (2005)

    • Crisis (2006)

    • Critical (2007)

    • Foreign Body (2008)

    • Intervention (2009)

    • Cure (2010)

    • Death Benefit (2011)


  • Other Interests

    In the business arena, Dr. Cook is a cofounder of an Internet software company, a partner of a New Hampshire sports complex, and has significant real estate holdings. In the past he has owned a restaurant and a construction company.

    Dr. Cook's hobbies mainly involve interior and architectural design, period renovation, and athletics including basketball, tennis, skiing, and when waves are accessible, surfing.