Texas Tech University

Vickie Sutton

Associate Dean for Digital Learning and Graduate Education; Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor, 2010-; Robert H. Bean Professor of Law, 1999-2010

Email: vickie.sutton@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-1752

Victoria Sutton is the Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy, the only center at a law school in the U.S. to focus solely on issues of law and biodefense, biosecurity and bioterrorism. She established the Law and Science Certificate Program with unanimous support of the faculty, and directs the JD/MS Program in Environmental Toxicology; Biotechnology; Agriculture and Applied Economics and the JD/MEng

Prof Sutton received the Horn Distinguished Professor honor in 2010, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a faculty member at Texas Tech University. She served as the Chief Counsel for the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., 2005-2007. She served as Assistant Director in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, also known as the White House Science Office, 1991-1993.

Prof. Sutton was a Visiting Lecturer at Yale University in Fall 2004.

Prof. Sutton was awarded the university-wide President's Book Award for her groundbreaking casebook Law and Science: Cases and Materials. She was awarded the New Faculty Teaching Award in 2001, and the Law School's Distinguished Research Faculty Award. She has chaired the University Academic Strategic Planning Task Force and the Texas Tech University System Task Force on Anti-Terrorism and Public Security.

She is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina and served as Secretary of the National Native American Bar Association in 2001-2002, and currently serves as a founding member of the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center, Advisory Board.

Dr. Sutton has also served on Committees of the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering. In 2005, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, where she received her MPA, and was nominated for the Alumni Achievement Award at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she received her PhD.

She is an appointee to the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott's Task Force on Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Sutton has published ten books, more than fifty law review articles, and numerous scholarly articles on law and technology, science, environmental law, American Indian law, Constitutional law and biosecurity law.

Photo Description


  • B.S. in Zoology and B.S. in Animal Science cum laude from North Carolina State University
  • M.P.A., Old Dominion University
  • Ph.D., Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • J.D., magna cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law


  • Environmental Law
  • Emerging Technologies Law
  • Cybersecurity Law & Policy
  • Nanotechnology Law & Policy
  • Space Law
  • American Indian Law
  • Law and Biotechnology
  • Global Biosecurity Law
  • Constitutional Law

Selected Books, Publications, and Symposiums


Emerging Technologies Law, Vols. 1, 2 and 3 (Vargas Publishing, 2015)

Biosecurity Law & Policy (Vargas Publishing, 2014).

Law and Biotechnology: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2007)

Madden v. Lifecord: A Biotechnology Trial (Vargas Publishing, 2018)

Nanotechnology Law and Policy (Carolina Academic Press, 2010)

Foreman v. Xymos, Inc. : A Nanotechnology Trial (Vargas Publishing, 2011)

Law and Science: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2001)

Book Chapters

“Biocrimes and Biotechnology,” Chapter 14, The Handbook of Technology, Crime and Justice, ed., Dr Michael McGuire, (Routledge, 2017).

Victoria Sutton, Chap. 33 “Emergencies, Disasters, Conflicts and UDHR Article 25,” eds. Lawrence O. Gostin and Vincent Congiu (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013).


Wind and Wisdom, 1 Houston Journal of Energy and Environment 345-371 (2007).

A Multidisciplinary Approach to an Ethic of Biodefense and Bioterrorism, 33 American Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 310-322 (Summer 2005).

Sutton and Tomich, Harnessing Wind is Not (By Nature) Environmentally Friendly, 22 Pace Envtl. L. Rev.91-121 (2005).

Environmental Law and Public Health Law --- In a Time of Plague, 30 American Journal of Law and Medicine 217-236 (2004).

Custom, Tradition and Science in the South Pacific: Fiji's New Environmental Management Act and Vanua, 9 Journal of South Pacific Law (2005)

Dual Purpose Bioterrorism Investigations in Law Enforcement and Public Health Protection: How to Make Them Work Consistent with the Rule of Law, 6 Houston Journal of Health Law 165-185 (2005).

Wetlands -- A Goal Without A Statute, 7 S.C. Envt. L.J. 179 (1998).

A Precarious Legal "Hot Zone" -- The President's Plan to Combat Bioterrorism, 164 Mil. L. Rev. 135 (2000)

Bioterrorism Preparation and Response Legislation-the Struggle to Protect States' Sovereignty While Preserving National Security Federalism, 6 Geo. Pub. Pol. Rev. 2 (Summer 2001)

Sutton and Bromley, The Terrorist's Arsenal: Understanding Weapons of Mass Destruction, The Politic, December 2002.


Prof. Sutton hosts the Annual Global Biosecurity Symposia, each April, in the Lanier Center at Texas Tech University School of Law.