Dr Roberts primarily works in two areas: sickle cell disease and human subject protection. He has directed adult sickle cell programs at two academic medical centers. He was a co-investigator in the landmark Pain in Sickle Cell Epidemiology Study that changed the understanding of pain in adults with sickle cell disease. Currently, he is medical director of the YNHH Adult Sickle Cell Program. He also is a sickle cell disease consultant to the Community Health Network of Connecticut, the state's sole Medicaid claims administrator. For twenty years he has been an IRB vice-chair or chair. Currently, he is Executive Chair of the Yale IRBs. Previously, he held leadership positions in clinical research at two NCI-designated cancer centers. In 2012 he received the National Cancer Institute's was the Clinical Community Oncology Program Principal Investigator of the Year (Harry Hines Award).