Conducting biodefense-related research in a highly regulated academic environment

Ashok K. Chopra, Johnny Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


In this article, we discuss the impact of regulations pertaining to national security and quality control on scientific inquiry, especially as it relates to performing research in an academic setting. Specifically, the increasing burden of regulatory requirements on programs investigating select agents has negatively impacted the extent and quality of the research on these microbes, despite the fact that funds for these programs have become more readily available. Most of these regulations were created and are enforced to control access to a limited number of microbial agents considered to be the greatest threat to civilians and military personnel. While most scientists understand the need for some control, the extent of recent restrictions is seen by some as an almost insurmountable barrier to effective research, and perhaps as tantamount to a breach of academic freedom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalDrug Development Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic
  • BSL 3
  • BSL 4
  • Biodefense
  • High containment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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