• Adjunct Professor, Global Health
  • Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences
  • Adjunct Professor, Pediatric Dentistry
Marilyn Roberts

1959 NE Pacific St
DEOHS School of Public Health
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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Dr. Roberts' research interests include identification of vancomycin resistant enterococci [VRE] and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] in humans, animals and the environment and the relationship among these three in a variety of settings [One Health], the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and their distribution in various microbiomes and how resistance spreads through bacterial populations and ultimately, how these genes affect therapy. The laboratory has an ongoing project to isolate and characterize MRSA from primates, personnel and the environment from the Washington National Primate Research Center. Dr. Roberts is also working with people from the Indonesian primate center. Future work will look for MRSA in primate populations outside the USA, both in Primate centers and wild populations. The laboratory is also interested in antibiotic resistance in oral and urogenital bacteria in general. Another focus is on the oral pathogen Streptococcus mutants and how treatments affect the organism's cariogenic potential, as well as, levels in health and disease within the USA and in other countries.

  • PhD (University of Washington)
  • MS (University of Washington)
  • BS (University of Washington)
Country Affiliations 
Health Topics 
  • Environmental Health (incl. Climate Change)
  • Infectious Diseases (other than STDs)
DGH Centers, Programs and Initiatives and Affiliated Organizations 

Morse, S.A., S.R. Johnson, J.W. Biddle and M.C. Roberts. High-level tetracycline resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is result of acquisition of streptococcal tetM determinant. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 30:664-670, 1986. http://aac.asm.org/content/30/5/664.full.pdf+html

Seppala, H., M. Skurnik, H. Soini, M.C. Roberts and P. Huovinen. A novel erythromycin resistance methylase gene (ermTR) in Streptococcus pyogenes. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 42:257-262, 1998. http://aac.asm.org/content/42/2/257.full.pdf+html

Roberts, M.C., J. Sutcliffe, P. Courvalin, L.B. Jensen, J. Rood, and H. Seppala. Nomenclature for macrolide and macrolide-lincosamide streptogramin B antibiotic resistance determinants. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 43:2823-2830, 1999. http://aac.asm.org/content/43/12/2823.full.pdf+html

Miranda, C.D., C. Kehrenberg, C. Ulep, S. Schwarz, and M.C. Roberts. Diversity of tetracycline resistance genes in bacteria from Chilean Salmon farms. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 47:883-888, 2003. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC149303/pdf/0687.pdf

Roberts, M.C. MiniReview: Update on acquired tetracycline resistance genes. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 245:195-203, 2005. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1016/j.femsle.2005.02.034/pdf
Michael K, No D, Dankoff J, Lee K, Lara-Crawford E, Roberts MC. Clostridium difficile environmental contamination within a clinical laundry facility in the USA. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 363:1-5, 2016. PMID: 27744367 Press release from journal

Michael KE, No D, Daniell WE, Seixas NS, Roberts MC. Assessment of environmental contamination with pathogenic bacteria at a university laundry facility. Annals of Work Exp and Health. 61:1087-1096, 2017 PMID:29136420

Van Duijkeren E,Schink A-K, Roberts MC, Wang Y, Schwarz S. Mechanisms and spread of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents. IN Microbiol Spectrum 6(1):ARBA-0019-2017. ARBA-0019-2017, 2018. p. 1-31. PMID: 29327680

Roberts MC, Joshi PR, Greninger AL, Melendez D, Paudel S, Acharya M, Bimali NK, Koju, No D, Chalise M, Kyes RC. The human clone ST22 SCCmec IV methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from swine herds and wild primates in Nepal: Is man the common source? FEMS Microbiol Eco. May1:94(5): 2018. PMID: 29668933

Roberts MC, Garland-Lewis G, Trufan S, Meschke JS, Fowler H, Shean R, Greninger AL, Rabinowitz PM. Distribution of Staphylococcus species in workers, cows, and shared diary farm environments. FEMS Microbiol Lett. PMID: 29912375