Retirements: Faculty

The Faculty of Dentistry is saying farewell to Clive Roberts, BA, MA, PhD, Professor, after many years of commendable performance and service.

Dr. Clive Roberts

Dr. Clive Roberts taught biochemistry and cell biology for dental, medical and graduate students at UBC since 1990. His research was focused on extracellular matrix remodelling and cell biology in inflammation, fibrosis and wound healing. He won salary awards from the Medical Research Council of Canada and its successor the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) at both the junior and senior level, and the BC Health Research Foundation (BCHRF, now Michael Smith Foundation). Dr. Roberts’ work has been funded by CIHR, BCHRF, BC Lung Association and Canadian Arthritis Network. He contributed to four major national infrastructure grants to UBC totalling more than 40-million dollars, including as one of 10 senior investigators in the Centre for Blood Research. He did much of the development and planning work, including setting up high-resolution laser and electron microscopy in the Canada Foundation for Innovation-funded imaging centre, which evolved from the Faculty’s imaging centre, which he led for three years.

Dr. Roberts’ teaching focused on making developments in biochemistry and cell biology accessible, relevant and interesting for students, aiming to foster lifelong learning and science-based practice in these developing health professionals and scientists. In the medical and dental curriculum, he was responsible for developing and refining case-centred learning experiences that mixed lectures, laboratories, guided online activities and small-group collaborative learning. Students speak of Dr. Roberts’ encouragement to ask questions and integrate their knowledge, to foster a broader understanding of physiological processes. As a basic scientist, he mentored and advised numerous graduate students. He developed wider impact in mentoring and support for all of the faculty’s graduate students, with a specific focus on helping graduate students to complete their theses and dissertations, as the Faculty of Dentistry graduate advisor, as the Faculty’s representative in UBC Graduate Studies, and more recently as acting director of Graduate Studies.

In 2019, Roberts received a UBC Killam Teaching Prize, which recognizes his strong commitment to teaching and reflects his outstanding abilities to mentor and engage students in both the classroom and one-on-one settings. Generations of UBC Dentistry students are fortunate to have been taught, mentored and advised by Dr. Roberts during their education years, whether preparing for careers in academia, clinical practice or both. His influence and legacy runs deep and wide throughout the profession locally, nationally and around the world.

Along the way, he and his wife brought up two sons who both love outdoor activities and science and engineering. Roberts was a master coach/designer of Canada’s national whitewater kayak coaching program in the early 1990s, and in retirement, plans to remain active in citizen science, kayaking, hiking, biking and sailing.