OSP’s Harris Wins Biosafety Honor
Dr. Kathryn Harris, a senior outreach and education analyst in NIH’s Office of Science Policy, was recently presented with the Arnold G. Wedum Distinguished Achievement Award by the American Biological Safety Association at its annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. The award, the highest honor bestowed by ABSA, is given for outstanding contributions to biological safety accomplished through teaching, research, service and leadership.
One of Harris’s most innovative approaches was spearheading the OSP Site Visit Program, which provided tailored one-on-one advice to grantees on how best to comply with various federal biosafety standards. Over the course of the program, Harris visited more than 100 grantee institutions to help guide extramural programs.
Harris is also a well-known lecturer and educator on the biosafety circuit and has provided numerous keynote addresses relating to biosafety and biosecurity. She was also the founding organizer of OSP’s biennial biosafety conference, which provided a venue for the biosafety committee and the federal government to convene and discuss common challenges.
Prior to Harris’s tenure at NIH, she served as biological safety officer at Northwestern University, where she founded the Midwest Area Biosafety Network. Harris earned her B.Sc. in biology from Bangor University and her Ph.D. in biology from Cornell University.
She adds the Wedum Award to a list of honors that also includes several NIH OD Honor Awards and a Director’s Award.
“Kathryn’s leadership in the field of biosafety and biosecurity has allowed vitally important biomedical research to take place in a safe and responsible manner,” said Dr. Jessica Tucker, director of OSP’s Division of Biosafety, Biosecurity and Emerging Biotechnology Policy. “Her dedication has made NIH one of the most trusted government agencies with respect to biosafety, and you simply can’t put a price on that.”