Alumni Honorees

Susan Tomlinson RobertsSusan Tomlinson Roberts

M.S. Chemistry, 2001


“Model graduate student.” That is how Susan Tomlinson Roberts was described in being nominated for a Golden Anniversary Alumni Award. The compliments didn’t stop there.

“You will never find such a skilled and talented young person in many laboratories in the world.”

“With regard to hard work and intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm for both synthetic and applied research, and helping laboratory co-workers, Susan tops other graduate students.” 

Her success in obtaining a research scientist position at the Bayer Pharmaceutical Corporation while in the middle of her graduate study at NIU attests to her considerable talent, which she used to pursue a career in synthetic Medicinal Chemistry. Her contributions to programs in metabolic disorders, inflammation and neuropathic pain have led to clinical drug candidates, U.S. patents and publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Recruited to Amgen Inc. as a senior associate in 2004, Roberts was a charter member of the Amgen Women’s Interactive Network. The group provided workshops on topics such as career development, self-defense, industry networking, and self-motivation.

Roberts shifted her career focus to scientific software development after moving on to Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 2008. She now serves as a liaison between the scientists, the scientific management team, and the computer development team to manage priorities, timelines and process optimization.  New applications under development include an electronic laboratory notebook and a global chemical ordering system.