William Woodruff Roberts, MD

Professor, Urology
Professor, Biomedical Engineering


William W. Roberts, MD is Professor of Urology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan.  He earned a B.S. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992, an M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1997, and completed his urology training at the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2004 and is now Director of the Division of Endourology. His clinical practice is focused on minimally invasive surgery, endourology, and urinary stone disease.

Dr. Roberts is part of the multidisciplinary scientific team at the University of Michigan that developed histotripsy, a non-invasive, focused ultrasound technology that induces controlled cavitation to mechanically ablate targeted tissues within the body.  He is the director of the Translational Histotripsy Laboratory and has led the research effort to apply histotripsy for treatment of urologic diseases in preclinical models. 

Dr. Roberts has presented his work at international and national meetings and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.  His research contributions have been recognized in the form of multiple grants and awards from the National Institutes of Health, American Urological Association Foundation, Coulter Foundation, and Engineering and Urology Society.  He was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious AUA Gold Cystoscope Award. 

Areas of Interest




Quantification of bioeffects and understanding of mechanism of histotripsy (ultrasound induced mechanical/cavitational tissue ablation), a non-invasive ablative therapeutic technology.

Application of histotripsy as a therapeutic technology for benign and malignant urological conditions.

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Prostate cancer
  • Renal masses

Development and Characterization of Endoscopic Photoacoustic Tomography/Microscopy as a modality for virtual biopsy

Thermal spread from electrosurgical devices and development of new generation electrosurgical devices and techniques that minimize thermal spread to adjacent tissues.

Clinical Interests

Kidney, Ureter, and Bladder Stones. Shockwave lithotripsy, Uretereoscopy with laser lithotripsy, and Percutaneous nephrolithotomy.


Medical School or Training

  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1997


  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Surgery General, MD, 1999
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Urology, MD, 2003

Professional Organizations

  • American Urological Association
  • Endourological Society
  • Engineering and Urology Society
  • International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound

Board Certification

  • Urology
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