July 16, 2021
News Release

Four PNNL Researchers Named to Washington State Academy of Sciences

Academy provides expert scientific and engineering assessments to inform public policy making

wsas

From left: Dick Kouzes, Ljiljana Paša-Tolić, Jon Schwantes, and Katrina Waters have been selected to join the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

(Composite image by Shannon Colson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

RICHLAND, Wash.—Four scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been selected to join the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Dick Kouzes, Ljiljana Paša-Tolić, Jon Schwantes and Katrina Waters will join other scientists and engineers from across the state being recognized for outstanding scientific achievement and leadership. Academy members provide expert scientific and engineering analysis to inform public policy making and work to increase the role and visibility of science in Washington State.

The academy was created in 2005 and consists of more than 300 elected members who are nationally recognized for their scientific and technical expertise. The academy provides expert scientific and engineering assessments to inform public policy making and works to increase the impact of research in Washington State. PNNL now has 29 current staff members in the Academy, including the four new inductees.

The PNNL scientists will join a 2021 class of new members composed of 29 newly elected members and nine new members from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine who live or work in Washington State. New members will be inducted at the 14th Annual Members’ Meeting on Sept. 16.

“PNNL is proud to partner with the Washington State Academy of Sciences and support its efforts to address critical issues facing our state,” said PNNL Director Steven Ashby. “With the induction of these four accomplished scientists in the class of 2021, we join with other Washington State research institutions in furthering the Academy’s important mission.”

Richard T. Kouzes

Kouzes is a PNNL laboratory fellow working in neutrino science, homeland security, nonproliferation and computational applications. As former chief scientist for the Computer and Information Sciences Directorate, he was responsible for creating focus and a global view of the future scientific directions of computation at PNNL. His work on homeland security has centered on the development and deployment of radioactive material interdiction equipment at U.S. borders. For three years, he was the principal investigator and technical lead for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Radiation Portal Monitor Project.

Ljiljana Paša-Tolić

Paša-Tolić is a PNNL laboratory fellow and lead scientist for visual proteomics with the Functional and Systems Biology group in PNNL’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Division and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE Office of Science user facility located at PNNL. Paša-Tolić brings world-leading expertise in high-throughput proteomics and top-down and native mass spectrometry for biological and environmental applications, including the development of transformative instrumentation and methods for connecting proteins with biological function.

Paša-Tolić is a bridge builder working with interdisciplinary teams with experience in mapping the future, assessing the potential value and impact of new technologies and working on high-level panels and committees. She loves to advance technologies needed to answer questions central to biology, health, the planet and people.

Jon Schwantes

Schwantes is a PNNL senior research scientist and nuclear and radiochemistry team lead with over 20 years of experience as a radiochemist working in areas related to the environment, super-heavy element chemistry and physics, astrophysical nucleosynthesis, science-based stockpile stewardship and nuclear forensics. His nuclear and radiochemistry research informs security operations and public policy through his leadership in international organizations. Government leaders seek Schwantes’ expertise to determine facts of radiological and nuclear incidents and to help with the response, including at the Fukushima nuclear generating station disaster in 2011, the $2.6 billion recovery of our nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository (the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) after a radioactive contamination event in 2014, and the breach of a radioactive source at the Harborview Medical Facility in Seattle in 2019.

Katrina Waters

Waters is PNNL’s Biological Sciences Division director. Her research is focused on the intersection of environmental exposures and infectious disease on human health. With over 130 publications, she has built an international reputation through her leadership and innovation in data integration and its application to biomarker discovery, infectious disease and toxicology. Her programs include the study of health effects of chemicals at Superfund sites and personal environmental exposure assessments for epidemiological studies in disadvantaged communities. She is leading a DOE research program focused on airborne and environmental transmission of COVID.

In addition to these four appointments, the Academy announced that Suresh Baskaran, PNNL director of research partnerships, has been elected to its Board of Directors.

# # #

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.