U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Health and Disease

Our Integrative Omics team has a diverse range of human health and disease projects, including leading a Biomedical Technology Research Resource. Sponsors including the National Institutes of Health, Department of Homeland Security, Air Force, etc. with human health applications including human performance, aging, infectious diseases, embryo development, pulmonology, microbiome, drug abuse, etc.  We are often looking to collaborate with leading researchers in applications that can take advantage of global and targeted molecular measurements using mass spectrometry and/or NMR.  We have a talented group of computational and statistical researchers that aid in the collaborative analysis of advanced and complex datasets. Please see our Collaboration page for contacts.  Below are a few examples of our research areas.


PNNL is the site of two major centers for the National Cancer Institute – a Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium Proteome Characterization Center, and an Early Detection Research Network Biomarker Resource and Reference Laboratory. These two Centers specialize in applying a wide range of proteomic technologies developed at PNNL to furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms associated with clinical outcomes in cancer, and identifying and validating protein biomarkers for the early detection of cancer, as well as for prognosis and therapeutic guidance.  The PNNL team combines deep expertise in analytical chemistry, cancer biology, bioinformatics and computational biology to gain new insights from the large datasets generated by PNNL's advanced proteomic platforms.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the US today. Type 1a (autoimmune) diabetes (T1D) for example is a serious chronic disease in children and adults caused primarily by autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells. The etiology of this disease remains unknown and yet the incidence of T1D has dramatically increased in developed nations in recent decades and represents a significant health problem for which there is no effective preventative therapy. The frequencies of high risk genotypes in the general population and T1D patients vary significantly among different ethnic groups as well as geographic populations. Alternatively, increasing evidence points to environmental triggers such as exposure to enterovirus and the composition of early childhood diet. Initiation of T1D is thus very likely caused by a complex interplay between environmental factors and genetic predisposition. We have multiple project that range from biomarker discovery efforts to understanding pancreatic cell functions to better understand the processes involved and related to the development of diabetes (e.g. HIRN (https://hirnetwork.org/) and TEDDY (https://teddy.epi.usf.edu/).

Infectious Diseases

Increased global population, increased rapid travel, immunotherapies/deficiencies, resistance of pathogen-directed therapeutics, and global climate change are contributing to emergence of new pathogens and increased threats from known pathogens. Hence, we have a major emphasis in studying a large range of bacterial and viral infectious diseases, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Influenza, Dengue, SARS-CoV, and their respective effects on humans. We are using proteomics, chemoproteomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics to improve our understanding of these lung pathogens, identify novel drug targets, and also characterize the response of the human host (e.g. Omics-LHV (https://omics-lhv.discovery.wisc.edu/project/home/begin.view) )

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