Rebecca Roberts is an active member of the Biology Department and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program. She heads an active laboratory where 6-10 students work with her as research collaborators every semester. She studies the effect of hormonal regulation of enzymes, with a focus on the roles of estrogen and bisphenol A in autoimmune diseases and cancer. She also carries out pedagogical research, funded by the National Science Foundation, on incorporating genuine inquiry into upper-level biochemistry laboratory courses.
After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, she became a Visiting Professor at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where she first became interested in the environmental estrogen, bisphenol A. As a scientist and mother of three young children, she has been active in educating the public about bisphenol A and is interested in the role of science in social justice issues. She has twice presented expert testimony to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives regarding toxin-free toddler and baby products and is often interviewed about bisphenol A by the media.
- B.A., Clark University
- Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
Cell Biology and Genetics of Health and Disease
Environmental Endocrine Disruptors
Antigen processing and presentation
Paul Craig and R.A. Roberts. Using protein function prediction to promote hypothesis-driven thinking in undergraduate biochemistry education. NSF Envisioning the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education. April 2015. Washington DC.
Dao, J. and R.A. Roberts. Bisphenol A: Mothers Shouldn’t Have to be Scientists. Chapter in edited collection titled “Liberation Science: Putting science to work for social and environmental justice”. Available online.
Roberts, R.A., et al., B cells from Lupus-prone mice respond more vigorously to lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Experimental Biology April 2014, San Diego.
Roberts, R.A. Bisphenol A exposure and health effects: Physician and patient education. American Family Physician June 1, 2012.
Roberts, R.A. Primary author of Learning Curve BioPortal assessments for Stryer’s Biochemistry 7th ed. and Tymoczko’s Biochemistry: A short course. W.H. Freeman Publishers. (2010-2013)
Roberts, R.A. What You and Need to Know About Bisphenol A. Physicians News Digest, November, 2011.
Roberts, R.A. Bisphenol A in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Exposure and Biological Effects. Neonatology Today. Volume 4: issue 11, 2009.
Biswanger, C.*, L. Davis*, and R.A. Roberts. Estrogenic Impurities in Tissue Culture Plastic Ware Are Not Bisphenol A. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Animal. 42:294-297, 2006.