Front Entrance of UofSC Aiken



Kenneth M. Roberts, PhD

Courses Taught

Introduction to Chemistry, General Chemistry I & II, Advanced Biochemistry


B.S., Biochemistry, University of Washington, 1996.

Ph.D., Biochemistry, Washington State University, 2009.

Post-Doctoral Associate, Chemistry, Washington State University, 2009-10.

Post-Doctoral Associate, Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2010-2015.

Research Interests

Enzymology, Bioorganic Chemistry, Reaction Kinetics and Chemical Mechanisms

Research Experiences

Dr. Roberts is interested in the underlying principles that govern the catalytic reactions of enzymes. A combination of kinetic analyses and chemical probes are used to investigate the specific chemical steps involved in enzymatic reactions.


Dr. Roberts joined the Department of Chemistry and Physics in 2015 after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. As a biochemist and enzymologist, he is interested in the underlying principles that govern the chemical reactions of enzymes, the little protein ‘machines’ that catalyze the many chemical reactions of the cell. His current projects are centered on understanding the reaction mechanism of the enzyme, 2,4’-dihydroxyacetophenone dioxygenase (DAD), which catalyzes a unique carbon-carbon bond cleavage. Dr. Roberts and his research students are currently investigating the steady-state kinetics (the steps and rates) of the DAD reaction. By varying the temperature or pH (acidity) of the reaction or by changing the atomic structure of the reactant, or even of DAD, the resulting changes in the kinetics of the reaction offer insight into the nature of the reaction. Due to the dual biological and chemical nature of biochemistry and the variety of experiments available for probing enzyme mechanisms, research students in Dr. Roberts’s lab gain experience across a variety of fields including biochemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology. Hands-on experience includes (but is not limited to): bacterial culture, gene/protein mutagenesis, protein expression and purification, UV-visible absorbance spectroscopy, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), reaction kinetics analyses, kinetic and solvent isotope effects, and chemical synthesis of substrates and analogs.