Michael Stebbins is an American geneticist and serves as Vice President of Science and Technology at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. He is the former Assistant Director for Biotechnology, Office of Science and Technology Policy, in the White House. At the White House, Stebbins was responsible for developing and driving initiatives in life sciences research, including the Administration’s efforts focused on improving veterans’ mental health, combating antibiotic resistance, increasing access to federally funded scientific research results, restoring pollinator health, and reforming the regulatory system for biotechnology products.
He received his B.S. in biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his Ph.D. in genetics while working at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he constructed genetic systems to artificially control gene expression in the brain.
Stebbins is a member of the National Academies of Science, Board on Research Data and Information. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Value in Cancer Care Consortium that aims to improve access, affordability, and value of cancer therapies and Vivli,whose mission is to "Promote, coordinate, and facilitate clinical research data sharing through the creation and implementation of a sustainable global data-sharing enterprise."
He is the former President of the SEA Action Fund, a partner organization to Scientists and Engineers for America and co-founded and 'served on the Board of Scientists and Engineers for America (SEA), an organization that focused on promoting sound science in government. He is the former Director of Biology Policy for the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), where he worked on control of biological weapons, preparedness for biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons attacks, and the responsible use of science and technology.
Previously, Stebbins worked as a legislative fellow for U. S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and as a policy fellow for the National Human Genome Research Institute. He has also worked as a senior editor for the journal Nature Genetics, and as a science journalist for Reuters. He has written for Seed Magazine, and is a science advisor to ScienCentral, a company that produces science-related news stories for ABC and NBC television affiliates.
Stebbins is the author of the book Sex, Drugs and DNA: Science's Taboos Confronted' and was also a frequent contributor to This Week in Science, where he discussed issues relating to science and policy in his segment titled, The Weird from Washington.
On November 18, 2008, Stebbins was named a member of the Obama transition in the "Executive Office of the President Team," with responsibility for the Office of Science Technology and Policy."