Sue is an associate professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also holds a position as the director of the UMass Amherst Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE). She obtained her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1992 and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University in 1998.
Current Graduate Students
Whitney Stoppel completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Cell & Molecular Biology at Tulane University in 2008. Following an REU program in Cellular Engineering at UMass in 2007, Whitney chose to attend graduate school at UMass, continuing to work in the Roberts lab. She joined the Roberts lab in the fall of 2008, and is working on enhancing the growth and functionality of mammalian cells in 3-D constructs by tailoring mechanical and physiological properties within the device through a collaboration with Surita Bhatia, Kim Tremblay, and Al Crosby.
Sarah Wilson completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Rowan University in the spring of 2009. She decided to attend graduate school at UMass to conduct research in cellular engineering and joined the Roberts group in the fall of 2009. Sarah's focus is on characterizing novel genes involved in paclitaxel production with an overall goal to enhance the accumulation and production of paclitaxel in Taxus cell cultures through agrobacterium-mediated transformation. She is completing this work in collaboration with Joyce Van Eck at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, New York.
Lisa Leone completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia. During the course of her undergraduate education she participated in internship programs at ConocoPhillips, Dupont and Genencor, the last of which sparked an interest in biotechnology. She joined the Roberts group in the fall of 2010 to optimize plant cell growth in bioreactors through a combination of mathematical modelling and experimental techniques in collaboration with Mike Henson.
Current Undergraduate Researchers
Kelsey Mantoni joined the Roberts Lab in the fall of 2011 as a sophomore honor chemical engineering student to begin work on her Capstone honors thesis. Kelsey will be working with Whitney in the field of biomaterials and tissue engineering.
Michael Vilkhovoy joined the Roberts Lab in the fall of 2011 as a sophomore honor chemical engineering student to begin work on his Capstone honors thesis. Michael will be working with Sarah on process level techniques for increasing paclitaxel production in Taxus suspension cultures.
Bronwyn Finney joined the Roberts Lab in the fall of 2013 as a sophomore honor chemical engineering student to begin work on her Capstone honors thesis. Bronwyn will be working on the metabolic engineering of Taxus suspension cultures.
Alpha Abdoul Bamba joined the Roberts Lab in the fall of 2013 as a sophomore honor chemical engineering student to begin work on his Capstone honors thesis. Alpha will be working to increase paclitaxel levels in Taxus suspension cultures.
Former Postdoctoral Researchers
Former Graduate Students
Former Undergraduates with Honors Theses
Former REU Students
The Roberts lab is always willing to take REU students funded through programs on the UMass campus. Please see the Institute for Cellular Engineering REU program and the UMass College of Engineering REU program for opportunities.