Nicholas Jason Roberts, Ph.D., Vet.M.B.

Headshot of Nicholas Jason Roberts
  • Assistant Professor of Pathology


Dr. Nicholas Roberts is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His current research is focused on deciphering the genetic and biological determinants of pancreatic cancer risk and translating these developments into personalized screening, early detection methods, and novel therapies for patients.

Dr. Roberts earned degrees in Natural Sciences (B.A.) and Veterinary Medicine (Vet. M.B.) from the University of Cambridge. He then received a Ph.D. in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University, completing his thesis research at the Ludwig Center under the guidance of Drs. Bert Vogelstein and Kenneth Kinzler. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Roberts completed postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University, where he focused on: 1) identifying novel pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes, 2) how variants in pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes are associated with an increased risk of cancer, and 3) using knowledge of inherited cancer risk to improve patient care.

Dr. Roberts was the recipient of a prestigious NIH K99-R00 Career Development Award. more


  • Assistant Professor of Pathology
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

  • Oncology - Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics
  • Pathology - Gastroenterology and Liver Pathology



  • Ph.D.; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Maryland) (2012)
  • B.A.; Trinity College (England) (2004)
  • Vet.M.B.; University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) (2007)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Roberts's research aims to understand the genetic and biological basis of inherited pancreatic cancers. His research group uses next-generation genomic sequencing technologies to comprehensively identify and characterize pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes. Dr. Roberts and his team use state-of-the-art cell-based and animal models of pancreatic cancer to explore the biology of pancreatic cancers with defects in pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes and identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic approaches.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Kimura H, Paranal RM, Nanda N, Wood LD, Eshleman JR, Hruban RH, Goggins MG, Klein AP, Roberts NJ. Functional CDKN2A assay identifies frequent deleterious alleles misclassified as variants of uncertain significance. eLife. 2022. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.71137. 

Skaro M, Nanda N, Gauthier C, Felsenstein M, Jiang Z, Qiu M, Shindo K, Yu J, Hutchings D, Javed AA, Beckman R, He J, Wolfgang CL, Thompson E, Hruban RH, Klein AP, Goggins M, Wood LD, Roberts NJ. Prevalence of Germline Mutations Associated with Cancer Risk in Patients With Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms. Gastroenterology. 2019; 156:1905-1913

Roberts NJ, Norris AL, Petersen GM, Bondy ML, Brand R, Gallinger S, Kurtz RC, Olson SH, Rustgi AK, Schwartz AG, Stoffel E, Syngal S, Zogopoulos G, Ali SZ, Axilbund J, Chaffee KG, Chen YC, Cote ML, Childs EJ, Douville C, Goes FS, Herman JM, Iacobuzio-Donahue C, Kramer M, Makohon-Moore A, McCombie RW, McMahon KW, Niknafs N, Parla J, Pirooznia M, Potash JB, Rhim AD, Smith AL, Wang Y, Wolfgang CL, Wood LD, Zandi PP, Goggins M, Karchin R, Eshleman JR, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Hruban RH, Klein AP. Whole Genome Sequencing Defines the Genetic Heterogeneity of Familial Pancreatic Cancer. Cancer Discovery. 2016; 6(2):166-75. 

Roberts NJ, Vogelstein JT, Parmigiani G, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE. The predictive capacity of personal genome sequencing. Science Translational Medicine. 2012; 4(133):133ra58. 

Roberts NJ, Jiao Y, Yu J, Kopelovich L, Petersen GM, Bondy ML, Gallinger S, Schwartz AG, Syngal S, Cote ML, Axilbund J, Schulick R, Ali SZ, Eshleman JR, Velculescu VE, Goggins M, Vogelstein B, Papadopoulos N, Hruban RH, Kinzler KW, Klein AP. ATM mutations in patients with hereditary pancreatic cancer. Cancer Discovery. 2012; 2(1):41-6. 

Contact for Research Inquiries

Roberts Research Lab
1550 Orleans Street
CRB2 Room 342
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Activities & Honors


  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (United Kingdom)
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society of Human Genetics
Is this you? Edit Profile
back to top button