Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy

Dr Mark Roberts

Dr Mark Roberts

  • Lecturer in Biochemistry and Biomedical Science


I studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate in Oxford, followed by a DPhil in Biochemistry studying chemotaxis in the soil bacterial Rhodobacter sphearoides. During that time I developed a strong interest in bacterial systems biology. My first postdoc was in the area of control engineering applying this to biological systems, followed by a further postdoc examining the role of cell division on bacterial signaling. From there I moved to Barts and the London Medical School at Queen Mary University of London. There my research turned to transcription and transport in the dental pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. At QMUL I also developed using e-learning approaches to teaching and developed a strong interested in teaching public engagement with science. I returned to Oxford in 2020 in a teaching focused role, developing the Biochemistry undergraduate course. I joined Lincoln College in 2006.

College teaching

I teach Lincoln biochemists on Celluilar and Molecular Biochemistry in the first year of the course, and on Bacterial Systems, Molecular Biology Techniques and Data Analysis, on years 2/3. Many of these tutorials are linked with the lectures and practicals I am involved in at the Department. In year 4 of Biochemistry the other Lincoln tutors and I support our students in writing their MSc (Part II) dissertations and in preparing to defend their work.

I also teach  first year Medics and Biomedical Sciences students at Lincoln on aspects of Metabolism and Molecular Biology Techniques.


My research focuses on how we teach science and being a scientist effectively to undergraduates, in particular how we support practical laboratory sessions, how we teach data analysis, and the integration of e-learning approaches to do so. I also remain interested in bacterial systems including Porphyromonas gingivalis and synthetic biology approaches using bacterial cells.

I am currently a member of the FEBS Science and Society Committee. I was a member of the biochemical society education committee along with the education policy member of the biochemical society policy advisory panel.

Select publications

Roberts MAJ: 'Recombinant DNA technology and DNA sequencing'. Essays Biochem 2019, 63:457–468.

Jonsson AL, Roberts MAJ, Kiappes JL, Scott KA: 'Essential chemistry for biochemists'. Essays Biochem 2017, 61:401–427.

Chiu SW, Roberts MAJ, Leake MC, Armitage JP: 'Positioning of chemosensory proteins and ftsz through the rhodobacter sphaeroides cell cycle'. Mol Microbiol 2013, 90:322–337.

Roberts MAJ, Cranenburgh RM, Stevens MP, Oyston PCF: 'Synthetic biology: Biology by design'. Microbiol 2013, 159:1219–1220.

Roberts MAJ, Papachristodoulou A, Armitage JP: 'Adaptation and control circuits in bacterial chemotaxis'. Biochem Soc Trans 2010, 38:1265–9.