Susan Roberts

Professor of Chemical Engineering; Director of Institute for Cellular Engineering, University of Massachusetts


Ph.D.: Cornell University

Cellular and Metabolic Engineering

Our laboratory focuses on cellular and metabolic engineering. Through the characterization and redirection of metabolism, cellular processes can be optimized for a variety of applications.  Our current research focus is in two main areas: (1) plant metabolic engineering for the production of medicinals via plant cell culture and (2) design and utilization of mammalian cell in vitro systems for the development of novel cell encapsulation systems and the study of cellular function.

Representative Publications:

Naill, M., and Roberts, S. (2005) "Cell cycle analysis of Taxus suspension cultures at the single cell level as an indicator of culture heterogeneity," Biotechnology and Bioengineering , 90(4) : 491-500.

Naill, M., and Roberts, S. (2005) "Flow cytometric identification of paclitaxel accumulating subpopulations," Biotechnology Progress , 21 : 978-9834.

Naill, M., and Roberts, S. (2005) "Flow cytometric analysis of protein content in Taxus protoplasts and single cells as compared to aggregated suspension cultures," Plant Cell Reports , 23(8) : 528-533.

Naill, M., and Roberts, S. (2005) "Culture of isolated single cells from Taxus suspensions for the propagation of superior cell populations," Biotechnology Letters , in press.

Khattak, S., Bhatia, S.R., and Roberts, S.C. (2005) "Pluronic F127 â as a cell encapsulation material: Utilization of membrane stabilizing agents," Tissue Engineering , 11(5-6): 974-983.

Agrawal, S.K., Chin, K.S., Sanabria-Delong, N., Aamer, K.A., Sardinha, H., Tew, G.N., Roberts, S.C., and Bhatia, S.R. (2005) "Rheology and biocompatibility of Poly(lactide)-poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(lactide) hydrogels," MRS Symp. Proc. v. 844 – Mechanical Properties of Bio-Inspired and Biological Materials, Y9.8.1-Y.9.8.6.

Bhatia, S.R., Khattak, S., and Roberts, S.C. (2005) "Polyelectrolytes for cell encapsulation," Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science , 10: 45-51

Nims, E., Dubois, C., Roberts, S.C., and Walker , E.L. (2005) "Expression profiling of genes involved in paclitaxel biosynthesis for targeted metabolic engineering," Metabolic Engineering , in revision.

Roberts, S.C., (2005) "A successful introduction to ChE first-semester course focusing on connection, communication and preparation," Chemical Engineering Education , summer 2005: 222-227.

Khattak, S., Spatara, M., Roberts, L., and Roberts, S.C. "Application of colorometric assays to assess viability, growth and metabolism of hydrogel-encapsulated HepG2 cells," Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry.