Anita Roberts

Scientist, Deceased Person

1942 – 2006

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Who was Anita Roberts?

Anita B. Roberts was a molecular biologist who made pioneering observations of a protein, TGF-β, that is critical in healing wounds and bone fractures and that has a dual role in blocking or stimulating cancers. Roberts was the 49th most-cited scientist in the world and the second most-cited female scientist as of 2005.

Roberts was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she grew up. She attended Oberlin College and earned her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1968. After postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Roberts joined the National Cancer Institute in 1976. From 1995 to 2004, she served as Chief of the institute's Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis, and continued her research there until her death in 2006.

In the early-1980s, Dr. Roberts and her colleagues at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland began to experiment with the protein transforming growth factor beta, commonly referred to as TGF-β.

Dr. Roberts isolated the protein from bovine kidney tissue and compared her results with TGF-β taken from human blood platelets and placental tissue.

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Apr 3, 1942
  • United States of America
  • Oberlin College
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mar 26, 2006

on July 23, 2013


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