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

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

BIOL 216 Genetics w/Lab
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: 131 & 132. For Neuroscience majors only, prerequisite is 132 and PSYC 125.

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.

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

Spring 2018

BIOL 401 Precision Medicine
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), precision medicine is "an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person." This departure from the “one-size-fits-all” approach to patient care has been made possible by advances in molecular medicine that have created an “-omics” era of large-scale data-rich biology. We will explore these new –omics methods and their applications in preventing, diagnosing, and treating human disease. Living in the “age of accelerations”, we will also consider how accelerating technologies in healthcare may provide personalized cures for some while creating health disparities for others. Students will investigate primary literature, produce a research grant proposal, and conduct a research project exploring their own genome. This course will fulfill the Biology major research requirement.

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.