About EPA

About the Microbiology Laboratory

What We Do

The primary focus of the Microbiology Laboratory, under the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), is standardization of existing test methods and the development and validation of methods for new uses and emerging pathogens for antimicrobial products with public health claims – products used to kill or suppress the growth of pathogenic microorganisms on inanimate objects and surfaces.  A variety of pathogens including bacteria, viruses, Mycobacterium, Clostridium difficile, and biofilms are of interest.  The laboratory is instrumental in advancing the science of antimicrobial product testing and provides technical expertise to standard-setting organizations and various agency stakeholder groups.

The laboratory also supports other agency offices on Homeland Security initiatives and is registered with the CDC/USDA Select Agent Program. Technical workshops, training, and multi-laboratory collaborative studies are key priorities.

Projects and Programs Managed by the Microbiology Laboratory


Susan Lawrence, Chief

  • Phone:  410-305-2954
  • Email: lawrence.susan@epa.gov
  • Biography
    • Education and Training
      • B.S. in Microbiology, 1979, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
      • Principles of Virology, 1982, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
      • Innovation in Government Lab Program, 1999, Federal Executive Institute.
      • Coaching and Mentoring for Excellence, 2005, OPM Western Management Development Center.
    • Professional Experience
      • April 1997 to present - Chief, Microbiology Laboratory Branch, Office of Pesticide Programs, Ft. Meade, Maryland
      • September 1996 to March 1997, Special Assistant to the Director, Antimicrobials Division, OPP, Arlington, Virginia.
      • June 1995 to February 1996, Deputy Director, Biological and Economic Analysis Division, OPP, Arlington, Virginia.
      • October 1990 to June 1995, Chief, Public Response and Program Resources Branch, OPP, Arlington, Virginia
      • Prior to 1990 - experience as research scientist for Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland.

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