Professor and Chair, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Professor of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Roberts is currently Professor and Chair of the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Dr. Roberts also holds the title of Professor of Chemistry in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences as well a joint appointment in Molecular Computational Biology and membership in the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Roberts is a pioneer in methods for molecular recognition of nucleic acids and proteins and invented and patented mRNA display during his work with Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak. His awards include the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), the Beckman Young Investigator Award, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellowship. Dr. Roberts holds a B.S. in Chemistry with honors and highest distinction from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from Yale, working with Prof. Donald Crothers. Following his thesis, he did postdoctoral work at Harvard University Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital with Jack Szostak and then took a faculty position at Caltech Chemistry Department as an Assistant Professor. In 2006, he moved to USC where his lab has worked to design new peptides and proteins for diagnostic, biologic, and therapeutic applications.