JoAnn Roberts was born in Bermuda and moved to South Florida in 1996. She attended the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Honors College for her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. There she completed and published an undergraduate thesis titled “Ion Chromatography Detection of Nitrite and Nitrate in Cured Meat: An Undergraduate Analytical or Instrumental Methods Laboratory Exercise” for which she also won an Outstanding Thesis Award upon graduation. She continued and completed her Master’s in Biomedical Science at FAU with research focused on molecular mechanisms of breast and prostate tumorigenesis prior to starting at the University of Florida (UF) for her PhD studies in August 2012.
JoAnn began her doctoral research in Dr. Özlem Yilmaz’ laboratory in May
2013 at the University of Florida and transferred with Dr. Yilmaz in January 2016. Her doctoral studies focus on novel survival and persistence mechanisms of the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis in primary gingival epithelial cells (GECs). More specifically, JoAnn investigates P. gingivalis’ ability to evade antibacterial NOX mechanisms and related-autophagy pathways in GECs.
Since joining the laboratory JoAnn has received 2nd place in an oral presentation competition at UF and has also gained teaching experience in the Dental School. JoAnn has made multiple contributions in science already through her research conference presentations (AADR/IADR) and publications.