Faculty Profile

Michael Roberts

Associate Professor of Biology (1992)

Contact Information


Rector North Room 1304


His research interests center on the biology of cancer, in particular leukemia, and the mechanisms by which cancer cells might be reprogrammed to either behave normally or self destruct. He and his students use genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic methods to explore changes in gene expression that distinguish cancer cells from normal cells. His teaching interests included genetics, molecular genetics, bioinformatics and the biology of cancer.


  • B.A., Colgate University, 1977
  • M.S., Miami University, 1979
  • Ph.D., Yale University, 1988

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

BIOL 216 Genetics
A study of Mendelian genetics, linkage, and mutation. An introduction to basic DNA structure and function including replication, transcription, and translation. Laboratory exercises involve both classic and molecular approaches to genetic analysis utilizing prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: two BIOL courses numbered between 120 and 129. For Neuroscience majors only, prerequisite is 124 and PSYC 125.

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

BCMB 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch
Student/Faculty Collaborative Research allows a student to conduct original research in close partnership with faculty collaborator(s). The project should be designed as an investigation yielding novel results that contribute to the area of study. With the faculty collaborator(s), students will develop the project and participate in all aspects fo the reasearch. It is expected that the faculty member will work closely with the student for at least half of the time the student is pursuing the research. The final project must be presented to the faculty collaborator(s) no later than one week prior to the end of the evaluation period. The course will typically earn one half or one full course credit per semester.

Spring 2017

BIOL 125 Understanding Cancer w/Lab
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. In the year 2000, over half a million Americans died of cancer and over one million new cancer cases were diagnosed. Virtually everyone who is 18 years old or older knows someone who has battled cancer. This course explores the biology of the complex array of genetic diseases known as cancer. What is cancer, why does it occur, how is it treated, and what would it mean to our society to find a cancer cure, are just a few of the questions that will be addressed. In the laboratory, the unique characteristics of cancer cells will be investigated and treatments designed to revert these characteristics to those of normal cells will be explored. By understanding cancer, cancer research, and the promise of new cancer treatments, students should complete the course with a greater appreciation for the scientific process and the role science plays in human health. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.

BIOL 425 The Biology of Cancer w/lab
Cancer is a genetic disorder that affects some 10 million people worldwide. In the United States, cancer is a close second to heart disease as the leading cause of death. This course will examine the molecular basis of cancer including the genes and signaling pathways involved in malignant transformation and the physiological consequences of uncontrolled cell growth. Current methods in cancer research and recent advances in cancer treatment will also be discussed. Specific topics covered will include: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, oncogenic mutation, tumor viruses, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, tumor immunology, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy. Six hours classroom/laboratory a week. Prerequisite: One of the following: 216, 313, 316, 318, 326, 327, 380, or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch