Ruth A. Roberts, PhD, ATS, FBTS, ERT, FRSB, FRCPath, ApconiX, Alderley Edge, United Kingdom, is the recipient of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2018 Founders Award for ‘outstanding leadership in fostering the role of toxicological sciences in safety decision-making’.
Dr. Roberts is chair and director of drug discovery at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and director and co-founder of ApconiX, a provider of nonclinical safety expertise. Previously, she worked in senior roles in regulatory safety globally, drug discovery and development, and scientific strategy for companies such as AstraZeneca, ICI, Syngenta, and Aventis. With a career spanning 30 years, Dr. Roberts is recognized as a multidisciplinary and influential scientist working at the intersection where industry meets academia.
A graduate of the University of Manchester, she received her PhD in 1987. She was bestowed the SOT Achievement Award in 2002 for her contributions to the molecular understanding of toxicity and received the EUROTOX Bo Holmstedt Award in 2008 in recognition of scientific excellence in the area of drug and chemical safety.
Dr. Roberts has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications. Her reputation as a world-class investigator in drug and chemical safety is evidenced by more than 30 invitations to speak about her research from all over the world within the last 10 years. Known for her problem solving and scientific insights, Dr. Roberts is a highly sought-after expert in drug discovery and development.
More recently, Dr. Roberts’ focus has been on translational research in the understanding of the influence of ion channel research on development of new therapeutics. Her current strategies rely on the synthesis of basic research and clinical application to gain further, more in-depth understanding with a goal of improving human health.
Dr. Roberts’ dedication to leadership within the field of toxicology is clearly demonstrated, including her service as chair for the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Emerging Issues Committee, which is tasked with identifying research topics to improve approaches to risk assessment and safety. Furthermore, she has been elected to the presidential chain of societies such as The British Toxicology Society, EUROTOX, and the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and currently is serving as SOT 2016–2018 Secretary.