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Biological Sciences Staff information


Aaron Wright

Biological Systems Science
Scientist, Team Lead
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: J4-02
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Aaron Wright is a senior scientist in the Integrative Omics Group in the Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate at PNNL, and has a joint appointment as a research professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at WSU, and an adjunct faculty appointment with the School of Molecular Biosciences at WSU. Aaron earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin with Prof. Eric Anslyn, performing research on host-guest sensors for small molecules, peptides, and proteins relevant to biomedical applications. Realizing significant opportunities to use synthetic chemistry to answer biological questions, Aaron carried out a California Breast Cancer Research Program postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Benjamin Cravatt at the Scripps Research Institute. At PNNL, Aaron has focused on new chemical biology developments with specific applications primarily to biological questions related to nutrient acquisition and metabolism in microbes and microbiomes, and mammalian drug metabolism. For a more comprehensive profile of Aaron’s research, see:

Research Interests

  • Activity-Based Protein Profiling
  • Chemical Biology
  • Microbial Metabolism
  • Microbiomes
  • Drug Metabolism

Education and Credentials

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, The University of Texas
  • B.S., Chemistry, George Fox University

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society
  • Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

Awards and Recognitions

  • ACS Young Investigator Award
  • California Breast Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dorothy Banks Graduate Research Fellow
  • University of Texas Career Development Grant
  • Dick van Santen Award, American Chemical Society
  • Edwards-Holman Science Award
  • National Science Foundation - Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellow - The University of Washington

PNNL Publications


  • Ortega C, A Frando, BJM Webb-Robertson, LN Anderson, N Fleck, EL Flannery, M Fishbaugher, TA Murphree, JR Hansen, RD Smith, SH Kappe, AT Wright, and C Grunder. 2018. "A global survey of ATPase activity in Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages and gametocytes." Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 17(1):111-120.  doi:10.1074/mcp.RA117.000088


  • Haitjema C, SP Gilmore, JK Henske, KV Solomon, RD Groot, A Kuo, SJ Mondo, A Salamov, KM LaButti, ZJ Zhao, J Chiniquy, KW Barry, HM Brewer, SO Purvine, AT Wright, M Hainaut, B Boxma, TA Van Alen, J Hackstein, B Henrissat, SE Baker, IV Grigoriev, and MA O'Malley. 2017. "A Parts List for Fungal Cellulosomes Revealed by Comparative Genomics." Nature Microbiology 2:Article No. 17087.  doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.87
  • Nair RN, JJ Rosnow, TA Murphree, ME Bowden, SR Lindemann, and AT Wright. 2017. "De novo synthesis of alkyne substituted tryptophans as chemical probes for protein profiling studies." Organic Chemistry Frontiers 4(4):495-499.  doi:10.1039/C6QO00819D
  • Romine MF, DA Rodionov, Y Maezato, LN Anderson, P Nandhikonda, IA Rodionova, A Carre, X Li, C Xu, TRW Clauss, YM Kim, TO Metz, and AT Wright. 2017. "Elucidation of new roles for vitamin B12 in regulation of folate, ubiquinone, and methionine metabolism." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114(7):E1205E1214.  doi:10.1073/pnas.1612360114
  • Rosnow JJ, LN Anderson, RN Nair, ES Baker, and AT Wright. 2017. "Emerging Multi-Omic Technologies for Improved Functional Characterization of Lignocellulose Degrading Enzymes." Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 37(5):626-640.  doi:10.1080/07388551.2016.1209158
  • Smith JN, KJ Tyrrell, JR Hansen, DG Thomas, TA Murphree, AK Shukla, T Luders, JM Madden, Y Li, AT Wright, and PD Piehowski. 2017. "Plasma Protein Turnover Rates in Rats Using Stable Isotope Labeling, Global Proteomics, and Activity-Based Protein Profiling." Analytical Chemistry 89(24):13559-13566.  doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03984
  • Stoddard EG, BJ Killinger, RN Nair, NC Sadler, RF Volk, SO Purvine, AK Shukla, JN Smith, and AT Wright. 2017. "Activity-Based Probes for Isoenzyme- and Site-Specific Functional Characterization of Glutathione S- Transferases." Journal of the American Chemical Society 139(45):16032-16035.  doi:10.1021/jacs.7b07378


  • Wright AT. 2016. "HOST-PATHOGEN INTERACTIONS: A cholera surveillance system." Nature Chemical Biology 12(4):203-204.  doi:10.1038/nchembio.2039
  • Anderson LN, PK Koech, AE Plymale, EV Landorf , A Konopka, F Collart, MS Lipton, MF Romine, and AT Wright. 2016. "Live Cell Discovery of Microbial Vitamin Transport and Enzyme-Cofactor Interactions." ACS Chemical Biology 11(2):345-354.  doi:10.1021/acschembio.5b00918
  • Bennett K, NC Sadler, AT Wright, C Yeager, and MR Hyman. 2016. "Activity-based protein profiling of ammonia monooxygenase in Nitrosomonas europaea." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 82(8):2270-2279.  doi:10.1128/AEM.03556-15
  • Biteen JS, PC Blainey, ZG Cardon, M Chun, G Church, PC Dorrestein, SE Fraser, JA Gilbert, JK Jansson, R Knight, JF Miller, A Ozcan, KA Prather, SR Quake, EG Ruby, PA Silver, SA Taha, G van den Engh, PS Weiss, GCL Wong, AT Wright, and TD Young. 2016. "Tools for the Microbiome: Nano and Beyond." ACS Nano 10(1):6-37.  doi:10.1021/acsnano.5b07826
  • Ortega C, LN Anderson, A Frando, NC Sadler, RW Brown, RD Smith, AT Wright, and C Grundner. 2016. "Systematic Survey of Serine Hydrolase Activity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Defines Changes Associated with Persistence." Cell Chemical Biology 23(2):290-298.  doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2016.01.003
  • Perez DM, ME Richards, R Parker, ME Berres, AT Wright, M Sifri, NC Sadler, N Tatiyaborworntham, and N Li. 2016. "Role of cytochrome P450 hydroxylase in the decreased accumulation of vitamin E in muscle from turkeys compared to that from chickens." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 64(3):671-680.  doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b05433
  • Sadler NC, HC Bernstein, MR Melnicki, MA Charania, EA Hill, LN Anderson, ME Monroe, RD Smith, AS Beliaev, and AT Wright. 2016. "Dinitrogenase Driven Photobiological Hydrogen Production Combats Oxidative Stress in Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142." Applied Environmental Microbiology 82(24):7227-7235.  doi:10.1128/AEM.02098-16
  • Sadler NC, P Nandhikonda, BJM Webb-Robertson, C Ansong, LN Anderson, JN Smith, RA Corley, and AT Wright. 2016. "Hepatic cytochrome P450 activity, abundance, and expression throughout human development." Drug Metabolism and Disposition 44(7):984-91.  doi:10.1124/dmd.115.068593
  • Solomon KV, C Haitjema, JK Henske, SP Gilmore, D Borges-Rivera, A Lipzen, HM Brewer, SO Purvine, AT Wright, MK Theodorou, IV Grigoriev, A Regev, D Thompson, and MA O'Malley. 2016. "Early-branching Gut Fungi Possess A Large, And Comprehensive Array Of Biomass-Degrading Enzymes." Science 351(6278):1192-1195.  doi:10.1126/science.aad1431


  • Sadler NC, and AT Wright. 2015. "Activity-Based Protein Profiling of Microbes." Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 24:139-144.  doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2014.10.022
  • Bernstein HC, MA Charania, RS McClure, NC Sadler, MR Melnicki, EA Hill, LM Markillie, CD Nicora, AT Wright, MF Romine, and AS Beliaev. 2015. "Multi-omic Dynamics Associate Oxygenic Photosynthesis with Nitrogenase-mediated H2 production in Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142." Scientific Reports 5:Article No. 16004.  doi:10.1038/srep16004
  • Liu Y, JK Fredrickson, NC Sadler, P Nandhikonda, RD Smith, and AT Wright. 2015. "Advancing Understanding of Microbial Bioenergy Conversion Processes by Activity-Based Protein Profiling." Biotechnology for Biofuels 8:Article No. 156.  doi:10.1186/s13068-015-0343-7
  • Wright AT, T Magnaldo, RL Sontag, LN Anderson, NC Sadler, PD Piehowski, Y Gache, and TJ Weber. 2015. "Deficient Expression of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1A1 Is Consistent with Increased Sensitivity of Gorlin Syndrome Patients to Radiation Carcinogenesis." Molecular Carcinogenesis 54(6):473-484.  doi:10.1002/mc.22115


  • Wiedner SD, LN Anderson, NC Sadler, WB Chrisler, VK Kodali, RD Smith, and AT Wright. 2014. "Organelle-Specific Activity-Based Protein Profiling in Living Cells." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 53(11):2919-2922.  doi:10.1002/anie.201309135
  • Ansong C, NC Sadler, EA Hill, MP Lewis, EM Zink, RD Smith, AS Beliaev, A Konopka, and AT Wright. 2014. "Characterization of protein redox dynamics induced during light-to-dark transitions and nutrient limitation in cyanobacteria." Frontiers in Microbiology 5:Article No. 325.  doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00325
  • Ismail HM, PM O'Neill, D Hong, R Finn, C Henderson, AT Wright, B Cravatt, J Hemingway, and MJ Paine. 2014. "Pyrethroid Activity-Based Probes for Profiling Cytochrome P450 Activities Associated with Insecticide Interactions." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110(49):19766-19771.  doi:10.1073/pnas.1320185110
  • Liu Y, R Zhang, Z Lian, S Wang, and AT Wright. 2014. "Yeast cell surface display for lipase whole cell catalyst and its applications." Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic 106:17-25.  doi:10.1016/j.molcatb.2014.04.011
  • Ortega C, R Liao, LN Anderson, T Rustad, AR Ollodart, AT Wright, DR Sherman, and C Grundner. 2014. "Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ser/Thr protein kinase B mediates an oxygen-dependent replication switch." PLoS Biology 12(1):Article No. e1001746.  doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001746
  • Pena-Castillo L, R Mercer, A Gurinovich, SJ Callister, AT Wright, A Westbye, JT Beatty, and AS Lang. 2014. "Gene co-expression network analysis in Rhodobacter capsulatus and application to comparative expression analysis of Rhodobacter sphaeroides." BMC Genomics 15:Article No. 730.  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-730
  • Sadler NC, MR Melnicki, MH Serres, ED Merkley, WB Chrisler, EA Hill, MF Romine, S Kim, EM Zink, S Datta, RD Smith, AS Beliaev, A Konopka, and AT Wright. 2014. "Live Cell Chemical Profiling of Temporal Redox Dynamics in a Photoautotrophic Cyanobacterium." ACS Chemical Biology 9(1):291-300.  doi:10.1021/cb400769v


  • Anderson LN, DE Culley, BA Hofstad, LM Chauvigne-Hines, EM Zink, SO Purvine, RD Smith, SJ Callister, JM Magnuson, and AT Wright. 2013. "Activity-based protein profiling of secreted cellulolytic enzyme activity dynamics in Trichoderma reesei QM6a, NG14, and RUT-C30." Molecular Biosystems 9(12):2992-3000.  doi:10.1039/c3mb70333a
  • Ansong C, C Ortega, SH Payne, DH Haft, LM Chauvigne-Hines, MP Lewis, AR Ollodart, SO Purvine, AK Shukla, S Fortuin, RD Smith, JN Adkins, C Grundner, and AT Wright. 2013. "Identification of widespread adenosine nucleotide binding in Mycobacterium tuberculosis." Chemistry & Biology 20(1):123-133.  doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2012.11.008
  • Wiedner SD, C Ansong, BJM Webb-Robertson, LM Pederson, S Fortuin, BA Hofstad, AK Shukla, EA Panisko, RD Smith, and AT Wright. 2013. "Disparate Proteome Responses of Pathogenic and Non-pathogenic Aspergilli to Human Serum Measured by Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP)." Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. MCP 12(7):1791-1805.  doi:10.1074/mcp.M112.026534
  • Crowell SR, A Sharma, S Amin, JJ Soelberg, NC Sadler, AT Wright, WM Baird, DE Williams, and RA Corley. 2013. "Impact of Pregnancy on the Pharmacokinetics of Dibenzo[def,p]chrysene in Mice." Toxicological Sciences 135(1):48-62.  doi:10.1093/toxsci/kft124


  • Wiedner SD, KE Burnum, LM Pederson, LN Anderson, S Fortuin, LM Chauvigne-Hines, AK Shukla, C Ansong, EA Panisko, RD Smith, and AT Wright. 2012. "Multiplexed Activity-based Protein Profiling of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Large Functional Changes upon Exposure to Human Serum." Journal of Biological Chemistry 287(40):33447-33459.  doi:10.1074/jbc.M112.394106
  • Chauvigne-Hines LM, LN Anderson, HM Weaver, JN Brown, PK Koech, CD Nicora, BA Hofstad, RD Smith, MJ Wilkins, SJ Callister, and AT Wright. 2012. "Suite of Activity-Based Probes for Cellulose-Degrading Enzymes." Journal of the American Chemical Society 134(50):20521-20532.  doi:10.1021/ja309790w
  • Sadler NC, TE Angel, MP Lewis, LM Pederson, LM Chauvigne-Hines, SD Wiedner, EM Zink, RD Smith, and AT Wright. 2012. "Activity-Based Protein Profiling Reveals Mitochondrial Oxidative Enzyme Impairment and Restoration in Diet-Induced Obese Mice." PLoS One 7(10):Article No. e47996.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047996
  • Wiedner SD, KE Burnum, LM Pederson, LN Anderson, S Fortuin, LM Chauvigne-Hines, AK Shukla, C Ansong, EA Panisko, RD Smith, and AT Wright. 2012. "Multiplexed Activity-Based Protein Profiling of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Large Functional Changes Upon Exposure to Human Serum." Journal of Biological Chemistry 287(40):33447-33459.  doi:10.1074/jbc.M112.394106

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