U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Chemical Biology and Exposure Science

A helix with images of various environmental exposures.

Understand the fate and function of chemicals in humans and microbiomes by focusing on environmental, dietary, industrial, and warfighting exposures

Our research team investigates the fate and function of chemicals linked to exposures from diet, industry, Earth’s environment, and—with increasing urgency—warfighting.

Our experimentalists and modelers collaborate as experts in toxicology, exposure science, modeling, epidemiology, and risk assessment.

They have core technical capabilities in analysis, toxicology, biomonitoring, computational modeling, whole-animal imaging, internal dosimetry, and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Our research team comprises a broad range of capabilities: exposure science, nanotoxicology, multi-scale virtual models of the respiratory system (for dosimetry prediction), radiation biology, structural biology, biomarkers, nondestructive imaging, spectroscopy, and magnetic nanoparticle detection.


Ryan Renslow’s research focuses on the relationship between microbial community structure and function, the emergence of higher order properties in multispecies communities, and the identification of novel metabolites in these communities. To...
Jordan Ned Smith studies the biological fate of chemicals and implications of chemical exposures on human health.  Dr. Smith applies advanced molecular tools, cell-based models, in vivo techniques, and computational modeling to understand how...
Aaron Wright leads the Chemical Biology & Exposure Sciences Group in the Biological Sciences Division at PNNL.  His highly collaborative and diverse chemical biology research team is focused on gaining an improved functional and mechanistic...
| Pacific Northwest National Laboratory