Ken Roberts' assistant Jessica Gerdes



Kenneth P. Roberts, Ph.D.

Acting Dean and Associate Professor
WSU Medical Sciences


Postdoctoral training in reproductive biology, Johns Hopkins University

Ph.D. in biochemistry, Washington State University

Bachelor of Science in chemistry/biology, Western Washington University


Johns Hopkins University, Division of Reproductive Biology


Biochemistry I & II, Histology


Roberts is the acting dean of the WSU College of Medical Sciences.

Since 2008, he has directed the WWAMI Spokane medical education program, part of the University of Washington School of Medicine’s five-state WWAMI (Washington Wyoming Alaska Montana Idaho) program. WSU currently educates 40 first-year medical students and nine second-year students on its health sciences campus in Spokane.

Roberts led the move to elevate Medical Sciences from a program to college status; it is now one of 12 WSU colleges. As acting dean, he supervises 42 faculty members (as of spring 2014), not only in medical education, but also world-class researchers in sleep and cancer. He also oversees the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences.

Roberts has led the university’s move to explore the creation of an independently-accredited WSU medical school. He and his administrative team have worked with an outside consultant, MGT of America, to study the feasibility of forming a new medical school administered on the Spokane campus.


Dr. Ken P. 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. His recent research studies have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Wyeth Research.

Additional Information
Roberts came to WSU Spokane from the University of Minnesota, where he was an associate professor in the Departments of Urologic Surgery and Integrative Biology and 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 2004, the Minnesota Medical Foundation honored him with the Outstanding Medical School Teacher Award in basic science.

Roberts is a member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, the American Society of Andrology, the Society for Basic Urologic Research and the Academy of Medical Educators, among others.

Selected Publications
Chauvin T, Xie F, Liu T, Nicora CD, Yang F, Camp DG, Smith RD and Roberts KP 2012 A Systematic Analysis of a Deep Mouse Epididymal Sperm Proteome. Biology of Reproduction in press

Vadnais ML and Roberts KP. 2010 Seminal Plasma Proteins Inhibit In vitro and Cooling Induced Capacitation in Boar Sperm. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(6):893-900

Whiteside JL, Ensrud-Bowlin KM, Wang G, Watschke BP and Roberts KP. 2008 Lead Placement and Associated Nerve Distribution of an Implantable Periurethral Electrostimulator. International Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 20:325-329, 2009

Roberts KP, Ensrud-Bowlin KM, Piehl LB, Parent KR, Bernhardt ML and Hamilton DW. 2008 Association of the Protein D and Protein E Forms of Rat CRISP1 with Epididymal Sperm. Biology of Reproduction 79:1046-1053

Vadnais ML, Foster DN and Roberts KP. 2008 Molecular Cloning and Expression of the CRISP Family of Proteins in the Boar. Biology of Reproduction 79:1129-1134