Doctor Bettie S. Masters '59

Doctor Bettie Sue Siler Masters was born June 13, 1937 in Lexington, Virginia. She graduated from Roanoke College in 1959 with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. She was salutatorian of her class, and earned the Annie Terrell Bushnell Prize. Doctor Masters continued her education at Duke University, where in 1963 she earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry.


At Roanoke Masters earned many awards, including Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities and outstanding freshman 1955-1956. She was a member of the Phi Society and editor of the Rawenoch in 1958. She was secretary and treasurer of the student government, and was on the honor council for three years. Masters earned the Cardinal Key from 1957-1959.



Doctor Masters began her career with the American Cancer Society, where she worked on her Postdoctoral Fellowship through Duke University. She went on to work on her Advanced Research Fellow with the American Heart Association, also at Duke University. Masters worked as an associate professor at Duke for one year, before working as an assistant professor and then an associate professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, a position she held for eight years. In 1976 Masters worked as a professor of biochemistry, research professor of surgery, and director of biochemical burn research. In 1982, Masters became the professor and chairman of the biochemistry department at the Medical College of Wisconsin, being the first women chairman in the school's history.



Masters was awarded research grants by the National Heart and Lung Institute for a total of eight years and for over $200,000. She was awarded the American Heart Association's Established Investigator-ship for five years, and was a visiting professor for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in Japan in 1978. She was a member of the pharmacology-toxicology program research review committee, and was also a member and on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. In 1983, Masters received the Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Roanoke College.



Doctor Bettie Masters received the Roanoke College Medal in 1973 for her distinguished service to the community and her profession. Her drive and amazing work ethic helped her create a very successful career for herself. Bettie and her husband, Robert Sherman Masters, raised two children together; Diane Elizabeth and Deborah Ann.