Postdoctorate Research Associate, Biological Sciences
Postdoctorate Research Associate, Biological Sciences


Kari Gaither received her PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from Washington State University (WSU), where she studied the interplay between cellular stress and microRNA modulation of a transcription factor important in cancer. Gaither joined the Exposure Sciences and Pathogen Biology team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate in 2020. She uses activity-based proteomics and pharmacokinetics to identify enzymes involved in phase I and II metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in humans, with the goal of assessing interindividual differences in human health risk of exposure. Gaither is interested in the application of chemical biology tools to assess metabolism and bioactivation of PAHs and other xenobiotic compounds, as well as the contribution of epigenetics to human health risk of exposure

Disciplines and Skills

  • Exposure Science
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Cancer Biology


  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington State University
  • BS in Biology, The Evergreen State College

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Society of Toxicology
  • Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Association for Cancer Research

Awards and Recognitions

  • SOT Science Communication Award to attend the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science "The Essentials" Virtual Workshop, 2021
  • Inland Northwest Blood Center and WSU College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Science PhD Internship in Transfusion and Transplantation Medicine, 2019
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Researcher Awardee and Selected Spotlight Speaker in the Non-coding RNAs Spotlight Session at Experimental Biology 2019
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Internship Program Environmental Protection Agency Internship, awarded August, 2018. (Declined due to research obligations.)
  • Karen DePauw Leadership Award, WSU Graduate School & WSU Association for Faculty Women, 2017
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2014–2019