U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

About The Division

The Biological Sciences Division has nine collaborative, interdisciplinary teams to help predict, control, and harness multi-cellular systems, and to inspire biology-based advances in energy, environment, and health.


  • Chemical Biology and Exposure Science, to understand the fate and function of chemicals in humans and microbiomes by focusing on environmental, dietary, industrial, and warfighting exposures.
  • Computational Biology, to use theory, model-based experimental design, and data analytics to elucidate and predict the fundamental organizational principles of biological systems. 
  • Ecosystem Science, to identify, measure, and model how dynamic microbial systems respond to perturbations and influence terrestrial Earth processes.
  • Microbiome Science, to deploy omics and synthetic biology to understand and manipulate the functional architecture of communal microorganisms in service of bioengineered solutions.
  • Informatics and Data Science, to invent algorithms, software and visual analytics to process, analyze, and integrate multi-omics data for biological discovery.
  • Metabolomics, to identify the flux, exchange, and character of metabolites, lipids and related chemicals in biological systems and in the environment.
  • Proteomics, to discover the cell signaling and proteomic signatures of biological systems by quantifying the dynamics of proteins and post-translational modifications.
  • BioStructure and Function, to harness omics technologies with structure determination to unravel biological systems related to human health and the environment.
  • Instrument Development and Deployment, to speed the creation of next-generation technologies in order to enhance molecular characterization for environmental and biological multi-omics applications.


Dr. Katrina Waters is the division director for Biological Sciences at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

Waters has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and more than 15 years of experience in...

Dr. Brian Thrall is Associate Director within the Biological Sciences Division, Chief Scientist for Systems Toxicology, and Technical Group Manager for Health Impacts & Exposure Science at...

Janet Jansson is Chief Scientist for Biology in the Biological Sciences Division and a laboratory fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Currently Dr. Jansson is the lead for...

Dr. Joshua Adkins' research focuses on the comprehensive characterization of biomolecules through space (associated proteins, structural determinants and localization) and time (before and after...

Dr. Rodland's research is focused on mechanisms of signal transduction in normal cells and how these mechanisms are altered in cancer cells. She is particularly interested in using a systems...

Dr. Smith's research interests span development of advanced analytical methods and instrumentation, with particular emphasis on high-resolution separations and mass spectrometry, and their...

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