Ken Roberts, PhD

Vice Dean of Academic and Community Partnerships, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University

Roberts is the vice dean for academic and community partnerships for the WSU College of Medicine.In this role he works to develop and maintain partnerships with community clinics and hospitals where our students will train, and he facilitates academic partnerships between our campuses for the College of Medicine. The work of his office includes outreach to K-12 schools, particularly in rural and underserved communities, to promote careers in medical sciences and healthcare.

Roberts led the move to elevate Medical Sciences at WSU-Spokane from a program to college status and he served as Acting Dean of the new College of Medical Sciences. Subsequently, Roberts was one of the WSU leaders who worked with President Elson S. Floyd to convince the Washington legislature to amend a 1917 state law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington, allowing WSU to develop a medical school. He and his administrative team worked with MGT of Americato develop a feasibility study thatdemonstrated that WSU has the experience and infrastructure needed to operate a medical school.The College ofMedicine isnow one of 11WSU colleges.

He has been recognized for his work at WSU by receiving the President’s Award for Leadership (2014) and the Faculty Excellence Awardfor WSU-Spokane (2015).


Dr. Roberts’ primary research interest is in sperm maturation, function and fertilization with application to male infertility and contraception. His lab takes a systems biology approach to sperm function and maturation. Recent work is focusing on the metabolic potential of the haploid male gamete.

He is also interested in health care delivery in rural and underserved regions of Washington State, and understanding how a medical school can best serve to meet our state health care needs.

Additional Information

Roberts came to WSU Spokane from the University of Minnesota, where he was a faculty member in the Departments of Urologic Surgery and Integrative Biology & Physiology.

Throughout his fifteen-year career at the University of Minnesota Medical School, he served in teaching, research, and administration positions, including as director of the Program in Human anatomy Education and director of basic research at the Department of Urologic Surgery.

In 2004and 2008 he was honored him medical school-wide teaching awards in basic science.


Postdoctoral training in reproductive biology, Johns Hopkins University

Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics, Washington State University

Bachelor of Science in chemistry/biology, Western Washington University