January 3, 2024

Scott Coates, senior director for the AOAC Research Institute, retired at the end of 2023 after more than 30 years of service.

He came to AOAC in 1992 “expecting to stay only a couple of years but found the work always to be challenging and interesting,” he says. “It makes it easy to get up and go to work in the morning when you know that what you are doing is materially improving our community.”

Coates began his career at AOAC as manager of the Research Institute’s Performance Tested MethodsSM (PTM) Program, which has grown to a highly respected and successful certification program with more than 350 approved test kits since its inception over 30 years ago. When starting the PTM Program, he negotiated an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to validate test kits to detect antibiotic residues in milk.

“With development of the PTM Program, Scott helped grow AOAC’s reputation as a leader in providing analytical solutions for food safety,” said David B. Schmidt, AOAC executive director. “The program has proven much success in validating innovative technologies for detection of microbiological pathogens that are simple, accurate, fast, and reliable as possible to help the food and beverage industries ensure quality and safety of products.”

From 2009 to 2020, Coates served as AOAC’s chief science officer. In this capacity, one of his first projects was to create guidelines and standards for AOAC validation of analytical methods. Consequently, the guidelines were published as Appendix F in the Official Methods of AnalysisSM compendium and have been used since 2011 as the reference for developing AOAC Standard Method Performance Requirements (SMPRs®). In 2020, he shifted back to the AOAC Research Institute, serving as senior director.

AOAC thanks Coates for three decades of dedication and contributions

For more of Scott’s accomplishments, read the full story in the November/December issue of Inside Laboratory Management.

“Scott is truly a trailblazer in advancing global food safety, public health, and security through his many contributions to the modern-day standards setting and methods validation programs at AOAC INTERNATIONAL. His pioneering AOAC journey resulted in development of the PTM Program, transforming the process time of validating proprietary diagnostic methods from years to months. This has to be one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in the annals of AOAC. His transformative contributions and visionary leadership have cemented an indelible legacy that will live on in the DNA of AOAC.” —Ron Johnson, AOAC past president