Campus News

Stockton appointed as new UGA biosafety officer

Athens, Ga. – Patrick Stockton, currently biosafety manager and biosafety officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, has been named biosafety officer and director of the Office of Biosafety at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Christopher King, assistant vice president for research, and director of research compliance, to whom Stockton will report, announced the appointment.

“Patrick Stockton brings experience with the highest level of biosafety research from a premier institution to UGA,” said King. “In cooperation with the UGA Institutional Biosafety Committee, he will provide the leadership and support for this important area of research.”

“We are very pleased that Patrick Stockton has accepted our offer to lead UGA’s biosafety programs,” said David Lee, UGA vice president for research. “UGA is dedicated to assuring a safe and productive research environment and protecting the health of the UGA and Athens community, and the environment. With UGA’s recent growth in infectious disease research that addresses critical threats to health, including the development of vaccines, safety and compliance with all regulatory requirements are the highest priority.”

Stockton’s appointment is effective March 1. He replaces Manley Kiser, associate director for the biosafety office, who has served as interim biosafety officer and director of the biosafety office since May 2012.

As UGA’s biosafety safety officer, Stockton will lead and manage a comprehensive biological safety program that ensures compliance with applicable regulations, guidelines, policies and directives, including those issued by the National Institutes of Health, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the CDC. He will oversee development of emergency plans for handling accidental spills and personnel contamination, and investigates laboratory accidents involving biohazardous materials. His duties also include serving as a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee, which reviews and approves research projects involving human, animal or plant pathogens, and select agents and toxins.

Stockton has served in biosafety positions at the CDC since 2005, including roles as a safety and occupational health manager in the office of safety, health and environment, and as biosafety manager and biosafety officer for its highest-level containment laboratory. In his previous position as a microbiologist at CDC, he worked with high-consequence pathogens. He received a master’s degree in medical microbiology and bachelor’s in microbiology from UGA, and is a registered biological safety professional, as designated by the American Biological Safety Association.

While at CDC, Stockton investigated various international infectious disease outbreaks, including Nipah virus in Malaysia and Singapore, SARS virus in China and Marburg virus in Angola.

“UGA has a proven track record of excellence and dedication to both education and research,” said Stockton. “The biological research program over recent years has grown tremendously, but at the same time, the biosafety program at UGA has demonstrated commitment to providing the high standards of safety services that are required for today’s pathogens. I am very excited about becoming a part of this growing effort.”