Professor Stapleton’s research focuses on food regulation, particularly the role of technology in food safety and security. Her interest in agricultural biotechnology regulation and the differences between the American and European approaches to risk assessment and management for genetically modified organisms were the foundation of her doctoral research. She has continued this work on agricultural biotechnology regulation in the European Union, as well as expanded her focus to include how biotechnology regulatory frameworks impact food production and trade. Her more recent research also addresses public health impacts related to food safety and security and the role of technology in health outcomes. Including case studies outside of the United States has allowed Professor Stapleton to visit other countries for research. This has allowed her to pursue her passion for traveling!
Professor Stapleton enjoys teaching because it gives her the opportunity to help students develop their own research interests and knowledge base. Working with and advising WPI students on their different projects motivates her to develop new projects to support undergraduate research opportunities. She believes that her social science and policy classes help students place their research in other disciplines into a political and social context. She hopes that WPI students are drawn to the Society, Technology, and Policy Program to better understand the environment in which they are creating, innovating, and building.
Professional Highlights & Honors
In the News
WPI’s ongoing efforts to prepare students for an increasingly diverse workforce were highlighted in this Diversity in Action article. “Researchers will teach WPI students how to identify and address bias and work in groups in ways that promote equity,” the article stated.
Patricia Stapleton, assistant professor of social sciences & policy studies, along with a colleague from Plymouth State University, published an article about their work on a new teaching modules that helps educators address disaster reduction challenges.