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Biological Sciences Staff information

Susan Tilton

Computational Biology
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: J4-16
Richland, WA 99352


Susan Tilton is a Senior Research Scientist in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Dr. Tilton has a Ph.D. in toxicology with expertise in microarray data analysis and the use of comparative high-throughput technologies (DNA, RNA, protein) to evaluate mechanisms of environmentally-induced disease and develop candidate biomarkers of disease progression. Her research experience is in the areas of environmental health, carcinogenesis, dietary chemoprevention, in utero susceptibility to disease, reproductive and developmental toxicology, and epigenetics with an emphasis on cross-species extrapolations. Currently, Dr. Tilton is applying statistical and computational approaches, including biological pathway analysis, functional enrichment and network modeling, to identify critical pathways of chemical toxicity.

Research Interests

  • Comparative toxicogenomics
  • Biomarker discovery
  • Systems biology
  • Network modeling

Education and Credentials

  • Post-doctoral, Cancer Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 2009
  • Ph.D., Toxicology, Oregon State University, 2006
  • M.S., Pharmacology, University of Mississippi, 2000
  • B.S., Biology, Duke University, 1997

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2004-2008
  • Society of Toxicology, 1998-2009
  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 1998-2009
  • Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists, 2003-2009
  • Postdoctoral Representative, Society of Toxicology Carcinogenesis Specialty Section, 2008-2009
  • Postdoctoral Representative, Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists, 2008-2010

Awards and Recognitions

  • National Research Service Award, Environmental Pathology & Toxicology Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2009
  • Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Postdoctoral Award, Society of Toxicology, 2009
  • Dermal Toxicology Postdoctoral Research Award, Society of Toxicology, 2009
  • Carcinogenesis Postdoctoral Research Award, Society of Toxicology, 2008
  • Graduate Fellowship, Linus Pauling Institute, 2004-2005
  • Poster Award, Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists, 2003, 2004
  • NIEHS Predoctoral Training Fellowship, 2000-2004

PNNL Publications


  • Tilton SC, NJ Karin, A Tolic, Y Xie, X Lai, RF Hamilton, KM Waters, A Holian, Ph.D., FA Witzmann, and G Orr. 2014. "Three Human Cell Types Respond to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Titanium Dioxide Nanobelts with Cell-Specific Transcriptomic and Proteomic Expression Patterns." Nanotoxicology 8(5):533-548.  doi:10.3109/17435390.2013.803624


  • Kodali VK, MH Littke, SC Tilton, JG Teeguarden, L Shi, CW Frevert, W Wang, JG Pounds, and BD Thrall. 2013. "Dysregulation of Macrophage Activation Profiles by Engineered Nanoparticles." ACS Nano 7(8):6997-7010.  doi:10.1021/nn402145t
  • Larkin AJ, LK Siddens, SK Krueger, SC Tilton, KM Waters, DE Williams, and WM Baird. 2013. "Application of a Fuzzy Neural Network Model in Predicting Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Mediated Perturbations of the Cyp1b1 Transcriptional Regulatory Network in Mouse Skin." Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 267(2):192-199.  doi:10.1016/j.taap.2012.12.011
  • Mitchell HD, AJ Eisfeld, A Sims, JE McDermott, MM Matzke, BJM Webb-Robertson, SC Tilton, N Tchitchek, L Josset, C Li, AL Ellis, JH Chang, RA Heegel, ML Luna, AA Schepmoes, AK Shukla, TO Metz, G Neumann, A Benecke, RD Smith, R Baric, Y Kawaoka, MG Katze, and KM Waters. 2013. "A Network Integration Approach to Predict Conserved Regulators Related to Pathogenicity of Influenza and SARS-CoV Respiratory Viruses." PLoS One 8(7):e69374.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069374
  • Saili KS, SC Tilton, KM Waters, and R Tanguay. 2013. "Global Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Pathway Differences Between Teratogenic and Non-Teratogenic Exposure Concentrations of Bisphenol A and 17-Estradiol in Embryonic Zebrafish." Reproductive Toxicology 38:89-101.  doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2013.03.009
  • Sims AC, SC Tilton, V Menachery, L Gralinski, A Schafer, MM Matzke, BJM Webb-Robertson, JH Chang, ML Luna, C Long, AK Shukla, A Bankhead, S Burkett, G Zornester, CK Tseng, TO Metz, R Pickles, SK Mcweeney, RD Smith, MG Katze, KM Waters, and R Baric. 2013. "Release of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Nuclear Import Block Enhances Host Transcription in Human Lung Cells." Journal of Virology 87(7):3885-902.  doi:10.1128/JVI.02520-12
  • Tchitchek N, AJ Eisfeld, J Tisoncik-Go, L Josset, L Gralinski, C Becavin, SC Tilton, BJM Webb-Robertson, MT Ferris, AL Totura, C Li, G Neumann, TO Metz, RD Smith, KM Waters, R Baric, Y Kawaoka, and MG Katze. 2013. "Specific Mutations in H5N1 Mainly Impact the Magnitude and Velocity of the Host Response in Mice." BMC Systems Biology 7:Article No. 69.  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-7-69
  • Tilton SC, KM Waters, NJ Karin, BJM Webb-Robertson, RC Zangar, MK Lee, DJ Bigelow, JG Pounds, and RA Corley. 2013. "Diet-Induced Obesity Reprograms the Inflammatory Response of the Murine Lung to Inhaled Endotoxin." Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 262(2):137-148.  doi:10.1016/j.taap.2012.12.020
  • Tilton SC, NJ Karin, BJM Webb-Robertson, KM Waters, VB Mikheev, KM Lee, RA Corley, JG Pounds, and DJ Bigelow. 2013. "Impaired Transcriptional Response of the Murine Heart to Cigarette Smoke in the Setting of High Fat Diet and Obesity." Chemical Research in Toxicology 26(7):1034-1042.  doi:10.1021/tx400078b
  • Truong L, SC Tilton, T Zaikovia, E Richman, KM Waters, JE Hutchinson, and R Tanguay. 2013. "Surface Functionalities of Gold Nanoparticles Impact Embryonic Gene Expression Responses." Nanotoxicology 7(2):192-201.  doi:10.3109/17435390.2011.648225


  • Chen J, C Huang, L Truong, JK La Du, SC Tilton, KM Waters, K Lin, R Tanguay, and Q Dong. 2012. "Early Life Stage Trimethyltin Exposure Induces ADP-Ribosylation Factor Expression and Perturbs the Vascular System in Zebrafish." Toxicology 302(2-3):129-139.  doi:10.1016/j.tox.2012.09.004
  • Freiin von Neubeck CH, H Shankaran, NJ Karin, PM Kauer, WB Chrisler, X Wang, RJ Robinson, KM Waters, SC Tilton, and MB Sowa. 2012. "Cell Type-dependent Gene Transcription Profile in Three Dimensional Human Skin Tissue Model Exposed to Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation: Implications for Medical Exposures." Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 53(4):247-259.  doi:10.1002/em.21682
  • Siddens LK, AJ Larkin, SK Krueger, CA Bradfield, KM Waters, SC Tilton, C Pereira, CV Lohr, VM Arlt, DH Phillips, DE Williams, and WM Baird. 2012. "Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as Skin Carcinogens: Comparison of Benzo[a]pyrene, Dibenzo[def,p]chrysene and Three Environmental Mixtures in the FVB/N Mouse." Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 264(3):377-386.  doi:10.1016/j.taap.2012.08.014
  • Tal T, J Franzosa, SC Tilton, KA Philbrick, UT Iwaniec, RT Turner, KM Waters, and R Tanguay. 2012. "MicroRNAs Control Neurobehavioral Development and Function in Zebrafish." FASEB Journal 26(4):1452-1461.  doi:10.1096/fj.11-194464
  • Tilton SC, T Tal, SM Scroggins, J Franzosa, ES Peterson, R Tanguay, and KM Waters. 2012. "Bioinformatics Resource Manager v2.3: An Integrated Software Environment for Systems Biology with microRNA and Cross-species Analysis Tools." BMC Bioinformatics 13:Article No. 311.  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-13-311


  • McDermott JE, MN Costa, DB Janszen, M Singhal, and SC Tilton. 2010. "Separating the Drivers from the Driven: Integrative Network and Pathway Approaches Aid Identification of Disease Biomarkers from High-Throughput Data." Disease Markers 28(4):253-266. 

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