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Jeffrey Roberts - Academic Background

Jeff Roberts most recently was chairman and Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. He joined the University of Minnesota in 1990 and was named chair of the Department of Chemistry in 2005. Roberts received his doctoral degree in chemistry from Harvard University in 1988 and performed postdoctoral research in chemical engineering at Stanford University.

He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California Berkeley in 1982.

Roberts’ interest in chemistry began in junior college. “Initially, I was more interested in liberal arts kinds of things like writing and English. But I started taking chemistry because it was the hardest course they offered on campus and I just loved it,” he remembered. The son of a pharmacist, Roberts credits his parents for encouraging him during his transition from liberal arts to science.

Reflecting on his decision to become a scientist, Roberts says, “If you talk to people who are chemists and ask them ‘why they like being a chemist,’ it occupies a sort of middle position in science in that it offers a rigorous, theoretical explanation for a certain set of phenomenon. Yet at the same time, we are trying to solve problems that are quite complex and connect to the real world—for example, making molecules for drug discovery, for energy, and so on.”

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Jeffrey Roberts Dean, College of Science Professor, Physical Chemistry

Jeffrey Roberts
Dean, College of Science
Professor, Physical Chemistry