Joseph Kanabrocki

Associate Vice President for Research Safety | Professor of Microbiology

920 E. 58th Street
Suite 145
Chicago, IL 60637

Joseph Kanabrocki was appointed Associate Vice President for Research Safety at the University of Chicago on May 1, 2014 and leads an important enterprise, the University’s Office of Research Safety. He also serves as the Biological Safety Officer and Select Agent Responsible Official for the University.

Working closely with divisional research safety specialists, the University Environmental Health and Safety Office, the Animal Resources Center and, as appropriate, with Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory, he works to instill a culture that focuses on the health and well-being of all University personnel engaged in research activities. Kanabrocki also provides staff support to the Research Safety Policy Council and leads a Research Safety Leadership Team to assist in the development of standards and policies for review and approval.

Previously, Kanabrocki was Assistant Dean for Biosafety and Associate Professor of Microbiology in the Biological Sciences Division of the University of Chicago. In this capacity, he served as Select Agent Responsible Official, University Biosafety Officer and director of the Biosafety programs at the University of Chicago’s Ricketts Regional Biocontainment Laboratory and the Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research.

Kanabrocki is formerly the Director of Biological Safety/Biological Safety Officer, Assistant Director of Environmental Health and Safety and Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis. He served as the administrative officer for the Washington University Institutional Biological and Chemical Safety Committee (IBC) as well as the institution’s Responsible Official for the Select Agent Program. Prior to this appointment, He served as the Responsible Official and as Biosafety Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for eight years.

Kanabrocki received a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. He was trained as a post-doctoral fellow in the Section of Genetics and Development at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. and in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kanabrocki obtained his professional certifications as a Certified Biological Safety Professional from the American Biological Safety Association, where he has been a member since 1992, and from the National Registry of Microbiologists-Specialist Biological Safety.

Kanabrocki is a former voting member of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee and currently serves as a 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. 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.