Laura Roberts, M.D., M.A., serves as Chairman and the Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley  McCormick Memorial Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized scholar in bioethics, psychiatry, medicine, and medical education.

Over two decades, Dr. Roberts has received scientific, peer-reviewed funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and private foundations to perform empirical studies of modern ethical issues in research, clinical care, and health policy, with a particular focus on vulnerable and special populations. Her work has led to advances in understanding of ethical aspects of physical and mental illness research, societal implications for genetic innovation, the role of stigma in health disparities, the impact of medical student and physician health issues, and optimal approaches to fostering professionalism in medicine.  She currently directs the Roberts Ethics Laboratory, a multidisciplinary team of scholars engaged in empirical and analytic study of issues of ethical salience across clinical, research, education, and policy domains at Stanford University.

Dr. Roberts has written hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly works, and she has written or edited several books in the areas of professionalism and ethics in medicine, professional development for academic physicians, and clinical psychiatry.

Dr. Roberts was recently appointed as the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Academic Medicine. In 2016, Dr. Roberts was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief, Books for the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Roberts was Editor-in-Chief for the journal Academic Psychiatry from 2002-2019. She also serves as an editorial board member and peer reviewer for many scientific and education journals.


Dr. Roberts has received numerous awards for leadership, teaching, and science.  Most recently, Dr. Roberts received the 2015 MacLean Center Prize at the University of Chicago recognizing her bioethics work.  Dr. Roberts has received the Distinguished Psychiatrist award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2005 and 2010 and was recognized as the foremost leader in psychiatric education in the United States and Canada by the University of Toronto in 2008.  Dr. Roberts received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Academic Psychiatry in 2010.

Having received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Arts in the Conceptual Foundations of Science from the University of Chicago, she then completed her medical degree and a fellowship in clinical medical ethics at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Roberts then performed her residency training in psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, where she also received additional clinical preparation in child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Roberts served on the faculty of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine for several years, performing evidence-based ethics research, administration, education, and clinical work in the specialized area of consultation-liaison psychiatry. While serving as Professor and Vice Chairman for her department, she established the University of New Mexico Institute for Ethics and was appointed the Jack and Donna Rust Professor of Biomedical Ethics prior to her departure in 2003. She then moved to the Medical College of Wisconsin, where for seven years she served as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and the Charles E. Kubly Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. She came to Stanford University in 2010.