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Lisa Roberts
OccupationVice chancellor and chief executive, University of Exeter
Years active2020-
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
DisciplineMicrobiology, Virology
Main interestsMicrobiology, virology

Lisa O. Roberts is vice chancellor and chief executive of the University of Exeter. She took over from professor Steve Smith on his retirement on 1 September 2020. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Early life

In 1990, Roberts graduated with a Bachelor of Science in medical microbiology and general microbiology from the University of Birmingham.


After graduation, Roberts joined Procter and Gamble as a product development manager in the UK and Belgium. In 1995, she moved to the BBSRC Institute for Animal Health (now the Pirbright Institute) and the University of Kent, where she studied for a PhD in molecular virology. In 1998, she joined the University of Surrey academic staff, where she became lecturer, senior lecturer, and professor of virology. By 2012, she was executive dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, where she launched a new school of veterinary medicine [6] In 2016, she moved to the University of Leeds. In 2019, it was announced that she would succeed Sir Steve Smith on his retirement as vice-chancellor and chief executive at the University of Exeter as of 1 September 2020.[7]

In 2022, Professor Roberts was made Chair of the Department for Education Spiking Working Group to lead a group of academics, practitioners and student victims to improve the prevention of and responses to spiking.


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  1. ^ "The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive". University of Exeter. 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Virologist becomes new VC at Exeter University". Business Live. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Professor Lisa Roberts". Newton Fund - Global Challenges Research Fund. 6 October 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Professor Lisa Roberts starts as new Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter". Exeter Daily. 1 September 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  5. ^ "About the Board". Heart of the South-West. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Guildford torchbearer - Lisa Roberts". Surrey Live. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Professor Lisa Roberts named new vice chancellor of Exeter University". DevonLive. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
Academic offices Preceded byunknown Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovationof the University of Leeds 2016-2020 Succeeded byunknown Preceded bySteve Smith Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter 2020-; Succeeded bycurrent