Joseph Kanabrocki, PhD, CBSP

Associate Vice President for Research Safety, Select Agent Responsible Official

Joseph Kanabrocki became Associate Vice President for Research Safety on May 1, 2014. In this role, he is charged with building and leading the University’s Office of Research Safety (ORS), situated within the Office of the Vice President for Research and National Laboratories. The ORS is charged with instilling a culture that focuses on responsible science built upon safe laboratory practices to ensure the health and wellbeing of all University personnel engaged in research activities, public health and the environment. 

Joe also holds an appointment as Professor of Microbiology in the Biological Sciences Division and serves as the Select Agent Responsible Official, University Senior Biosafety Officer and director of the Biosafety programs at the University of Chicago’s Ricketts Regional Biocontainment Laboratory.

Joe is a former voting member of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee and currently serves as a voting member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He also serves as Chair of the Biological Safety Examination Board for the American Society for Microbiology National Registry of Microbiologists and is a former member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Institutes of Health National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program. Joe also serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) of the CDC and is chair of the External Laboratory Safety Workgroup reporting to the ACD. He has written extensively about biosafety education, risk assessment and operations in scholarly journals as well as the popular press, given interviews and testimony, and has been an invited speaker at many national and international biosafety conferences.

Joe received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. He began his career in Biosafety as the institutional Biosafety Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he served for eight years. He worked subsequently as the Biosafety Program Director at Washington University in St. Louis.