Metabolomics Team Lead, Biomedical Scientist, Environmental Molecular Sciences
Metabolomics Team Lead, Biomedical Scientist, Environmental Molecular Sciences


Kristin Burnum-Johnson is a senior scientist and team lead of the Biomolecular Pathways team at PNNL. Burnum-Johnson earned her PhD in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University with Professor Richard M. Caprioli and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at PNNL with Dr. Richard D. Smith.

Critical challenges in systems biology, ranging from environmental sustainability to human health, may be addressed through the comprehensive and informative view of underlying biological pathways provided by the integration of spatiotemporal multi-omic measurements (i.e., proteomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics). Her research is dedicated to achieving transformative molecular-level insights into environmental and biomedical systems by implementing advanced mass spectrometry (MS) instrumentation. Burnum-Johnson has over a decade of experience and more than 50 publications dedicated to the development and evaluation of in situ imaging MS, structural characterization of molecules using ion mobility-MS, and analyses of molecules in complex matrices using high-resolution MS. Her research program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program, the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Burnum-Johnson was selected to receive a 2019 Early Career Research Program Award from DOE’s Office of Science. As part of her DOE BER early career research program, she is applying a multi-omics approach to uncover the mechanisms that drive cooperative fungal-bacterial interactions that result in the degradation of lignocellulosic plant material in natural ecosystems. Insights obtained from these studies inform new strategies for producing advanced bioproducts and biofuels.

Research Interest

  • MS
  • Proteomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Lipidomics
  • Metaproteomics


  • PhD in Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, 2008
  • BS in Biochemistry, University of Washington, 2002

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Society for Mass Spectrometry
  • American Chemical Society

Awards and Recognitions

  • Early Career Research Program Award, DOE BER, 2019



  • Geiselman G.M., X. Zhuang, J. Kirby, M. Tran-Gyamfi, J. Prahl, E.R. Sundstrom, and Y. Gao, et al. 2020. "Production of ent-kaurene from lignocellulosic hydrolysate in Rhodosporidium toruloides." Microbial Cell Factories 19, no. 1:Article No. 24. PNNL-SA-150034. doi:10.1186/s12934-020-1293-8
  • Piehowski P.D., Y. Zhu, L.M. Bramer, K.G. Stratton, R. Zhao, D.J. Orton, and R.J. Moore, et al. 2020. "Automated mass spectrometry imaging of over 2000 proteins from tissue sections at 100-µm spatial resolution." Nature Communications 11, no. 1:Article No. 8. PNNL-SA-138884. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13858-z


  • Burnum-Johnson K.E., X. Zheng, J.N. Dodds, J. Ash, D. Fourches, C.D. Nicora, and J.P. Wendler, et al. 2019. "Ion mobility spectrometry and the omics: Distinguishing isomers, molecular classes and contaminant ions in complex samples." Trends in Analytical Chemistry. TrAC 116. PNNL-SA-140985. doi:10.1016/j.trac.2019.04.022
  • Horta M.A., N. Thieme, Y. Gao, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, C.D. Nicora, M.A. Gritsenko, and M.S. Lipton, et al. 2019. "Broad substrate-specific phosphorylation events are associated with the initial stage of plant cell wall recognition in Neurospora crassa." Frontiers in Microbiology 10. PNNL-SA-143199. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.02317
  • Merkley E.D., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, L.N. Anderson, S.C. Jenson, and K.L. Wahl. 2019. "Uniformly 15N-Labeled Recombinant Ricin A-chain as an Internal Retention Time Standard for Increased Confidence in Forensic Identification of Ricin by Untargeted Nanoflow Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry." Analytical Chemistry 91, no. 21:13372-13376. PNNL-SA-145704. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.9b03389
  • Singer R.A., L. Arnes, Y. Cui, J. Wang, Y. Gao, M. Guney, and K.E. Burnum-Johnson, et al. 2019. "The Long Noncoding RNA Paupar Modulates PAX6 Regulatory Activities to Promote Alpha Cell Development and Function." Cell Metabolism 30, no. 6:1091-1106.e8. PNNL-SA-146887. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2019.09.013
  • Snyder M., S. Lin, A. Posgai, M.A. Atkinson, A. Regev, J. Rood, and O. Rozenblatt-Rosen, et al. 2019. "The human body at cellular resolution: the NIH Human Biomolecular Atlas Program." Nature 574, no. 7777:187-192. PNNL-SA-146510. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1629-x
  • Stratton K.G., B.M. Webb-Robertson, L. McCue, B.A. Stanfill, D.M. Claborne, I.G. Godinez, and T. Johansen, et al. 2019. "pmartR: Quality Control and Statistics for Mass Spectrometry-based Biological Data." Journal of Proteome Research 18, no. 3:1418-1425. PNNL-SA-138429. doi:10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00760
  • Yin R., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, X. Sun, S.K. Dey, and J. Laskin. 2019. "High Spatial Resolution Imaging of Biological Tissues Using Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry." Nature Protocols 14, no. 12:3445-3470. PNNL-SA-142602. doi:10.1038/s41596-019-0237-4


  • Duncan K.D., R. Fang, J. Yuan, R.K. Chu, S.K. Dey, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, and I. Lanekoff. 2018. "Quantitative mass spectrometry imaging of prostaglandins as silver ion adducts with nanospray desorption electrospray ionization." Analytical Chemistry 90, no. 12:7246-7252. PNNL-SA-131518. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.8b00350
  • Kedia K., J.P. Wendler, E.M. Baker, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, L.G. Jarsberg, K.G. Stratton, and A.T. Wright, et al. 2018. "Application of multiplexed ion mobility spectrometry towards the identification of host protein signatures of treatment effect in pulmonary tuberculosis." Tuberculosis 112. PNNL-SA-137966. doi:10.1016/
  • Kyle J.E., N.A. Aly, X. Zheng, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, R.D. Smith, and E.M. Baker. 2018. "Evaluating lipid mediator structural complexity using ion mobility spectrometry combined with mass spectrometry." Bioanalysis 10, no. 5:279-289. PNNL-SA-130733. doi:10.4155/bio-2017-0245
  • Menachery V.D., A. Schafer, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, H.D. Mitchell, A.J. Eisfeld-Fenney, K.B. Walters, and C.D. Nicora, et al. 2018. "MERS-CoV and H5N1 influenza virus antagonize antigen presentation by altering the epigenetic landscape." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 5:E1012-E1021. PNNL-SA-126254. doi:10.1073/pnas.1706928115
  • Mercer N., T.K. Sigdel, S. Nandoe, C.D. Nicora, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, W. Qian, and M. Sarwal. 2018. "Urinary Virome perturbations in kidney transplantation." Frontiers in Medicine 5. PNNL-SA-130392. doi:10.3389/fmed.2018.00072
  • Nicora C.D., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, E.S. Nakayasu, C.P. Casey, R.A. White, T. Roy Chowdhury, and J.E. Kyle, et al. 2018. "The MPLEx Protocol for Multi-Omic Analyses of Soil Samples." Journal of Visualized Experiments e57343, no. 135. PNNL-SA-129344. doi:10.3791/57343


  • Burnum-Johnson K.E., E.M. Baker, and T.O. Metz. 2017. "Characterizing the Lipid and Metabolite Changes Associated with Placental Function and Pregnancy Complications Using Ion Mobility Spectrometry-Mass Spectrometry and Mass Spectrometry Imaging." Placenta 60, no. Supplement 1:S67-S72. PNNL-SA-123563. doi:10.1016/j.placenta.2017.03.016
  • Burnum-Johnson K.E., J.E. Kyle, A.J. Eisfeld, C.P. Casey, K.G. Stratton, J.F. Gonzalez, and F. Habyarimana, et al. 2017. "MPLEx: A method for simultaneous pathogen inactivation and extraction of samples for multi-omics profiling." Analyst 142, no. 3:442-448. PNNL-SA-116063. doi:10.1039/c6an02486f
  • Eisfeld A.J., P. Halfmann, J.P. Wendler, J.E. Kyle, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, Z. Peralta, and T. Maemura, et al. 2017. "Multi-platform 'Omics Analysis of Human Ebola Virus Disease Pathogenesis." Cell Host & Microbe 22, no. 6:817-829. PNNL-SA-120881. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2017.10.011
  • Kyle J.E., C.P. Casey, K.G. Stratton, E.M. Zink, Y. Kim, X. Zheng, and M.E. Monroe, et al. 2017. "Comparing Identified and Statistically Significant Lipids and Metabolites in 15-Year Old Serum and Dried Blood Spot Samples for Longitudinal Studies." Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 31, no. 5:447-456. PNNL-SA-121197. doi:10.1002/rcm.7808
  • Zheng X., R. Wojcik, X. Zhang, Y.M. Ibrahim, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, D.J. Orton, and M.E. Monroe, et al. 2017. "Coupling Front-end Separations, Ion Mobility Spectrometry, and Mass Spectrometry for Enhanced Multidimensional Biological and Environmental Analyses." Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry 10. PNNL-SA-121198. doi:10.1146/annurev-anchem-061516-045212


  • Burnum-Johnson K.E., S. Nie, C.P. Casey, M.E. Monroe, D.J. Orton, Y.M. Ibrahim, and M.A. Gritsenko, et al. 2016. "Simultaneous Proteomic Discovery and Targeted Monitoring using Liquid Chromatography, Ion Mobility Spectrometry and Mass Spectrometry." Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 15, no. 12:3694-3705. PNNL-SA-118308. doi:10.1074/mcp.M116.061143
  • Huang E.L., P.D. Piehowski, D.J. Orton, R.J. Moore, W. Qian, C.P. Casey, and X. Sun, et al. 2016. "SNaPP: Simplified Nano-Proteomics Platform for reproducible global proteomic analysis of nanogram protein quantities." Endocrinology 157, no. 3:1307-14. PNNL-SA-111854. doi:10.1210/en.2015-1821
  • Khadempour L., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, E.S. Baker, C.D. Nicora, B.M. Webb-Robertson, R.A. White, and M.E. Monroe, et al. 2016. "The fungal cultivar of leaf-cutter ants produces specific enzymes in response to different plant substrates." Molecular Ecology 25, no. 22:5795-5805. PNNL-SA-113016. doi:10.1111/mec.13872
  • Kyle J.E., X. Zhang, K.K. Weitz, M.E. Monroe, Y.M. Ibrahim, R.J. Moore, and J. Cha, et al. 2016. "Uncovering Biologically Significant Lipid Isomers with Liquid Chromatography, Ion Mobility Spectrometry and Mass Spectrometry." Analyst 141, no. 5:1649-1659. PNNL-SA-111991. doi:10.1039/C5AN02062J
  • Lanekoff I., J. Cha, J.E. Kyle, S.K. Dey, J. Laskin, and K.E. Burnum-Johnson. 2016. "Trp53 deficient mice predisposed to preterm birth display region-specific lipid alterations at the embryo implantation site." Scientific Reports 6. PNNL-SA-116850. doi:10.1038/srep33023
  • Nakayasu E.S., C.D. Nicora, A.C. Sims, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, Y. Kim, J.E. Kyle, and M.M. Matzke, et al. 2016. "MPLEx: a Robust and Universal Protocol for Single-Sample Integrative Proteomic, Metabolomic, and Lipidomic Analyses." mSystems 1, no. 3:e00043-16. PNNL-SA-114737. doi:10.1128/mSystems.00043-16
  • Zhang X., M.V. Romm, X. Zheng, E.M. Zink, Y. Kim, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, and D.J. Orton, et al. 2016. "SPE-IMS-MS: An automated platform for sub-sixty second surveillance of endogenous metabolites and xenobiotics in bio?uids." Clinical Mass Spectrometry 2. PNNL-SA-117436. doi:10.1016/j.clinms.2016.11.002


  • Aylward F.O., L. Khadempour, D. Tremmel, B.R. McDonald, C.D. Nicora, S. Wu, and R.J. Moore, et al. 2015. "Enrichment and Broad Representation of Plant Biomass-Degrading Enzymes in the Specialized Hyphal Swellings of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the Fungal Symbiont of Leaf-Cutter Ants." PLoS One 10, no. 8:e0134752. PNNL-SA-108498. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134752
  • Baker E.S., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, Y.M. Ibrahim, D.J. Orton, M.E. Monroe, R.T. Kelly, and R.J. Moore, et al. 2015. "Enhancing Bottom-up and Top-down Proteomic Measurements with Ion Mobility Separations." Proteomics 15, no. 16:2766-2776. PNNL-SA-107785. doi:10.1002/pmic.201500048
  • Cha J., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, A. Bartos, Y. Li, E.S. Baker, S.C. Tilton, and B.M. Webb-Robertson, et al. 2015. "Muscle segment homeobox genes direct embryonic diapause by limiting inflammation in the uterus." Journal of Biological Chemistry 290, no. 24:15337-15349. PNNL-SA-107786. doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.655001
  • Lanekoff I.T., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, M. Thomas, J. Cha, S.K. Dey, P. yang, and M. Prieto, et al. 2015. "Three-Dimensional Imaging of Lipids and Metabolites in Tissues by Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry." Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 407, no. 8:2063-2071. PNNL-SA-100218. doi:10.1007/s00216-014-8174-0


  • Baker E.S., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, J.M. Jacobs, D.L. Diamond, R.N. Brown, Y.M. Ibrahim, and D.J. Orton, et al. 2014. "Advancing the High Throughput Identification of Liver Fibrosis Protein Signatures Using Multiplexed Ion Mobility Spectrometry." Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 13, no. 4:1119-1127. PNNL-SA-90826. doi:10.1074/mcp.M113.034595
  • Huang E.L., F.O. Aylward, Y. Kim, B.M. Webb-Robertson, C.D. Nicora, Z. Hu, and T.O. Metz, et al. 2014. "The fungus gardens of leaf-cutter ants undergo a distinct physiological transition during biomass degradation." Environmental Microbiology Reports 6, no. 4:389-95. PNNL-SA-96938. doi:10.1111/1758-2229.12163
  • Martin J.L., P.A. Yates, R. Soysa, J.F. Alfaro, F. Yang, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, and V.A. Petyuk, et al. 2014. "Metabolic Reprogramming During Purine Stress in the Protozoan Pathogen Leishmania donovani." PLoS Pathogens 10, no. 2:e1003938. PNNL-SA-96975. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003938


  • Aylward F.O., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, S.G. Tringe, C. Teiling, D. Tremmel, J. Moeller, and J.J. Scott, et al. 2013. "Leucoagaricus gongylophorus Produces Diverse Enzymes for the Degradation of Recalcitrant Plant Polymers in Leaf-Cutter Ant Fungus Gardens." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79, no. 12:3770-3778. PNNL-SA-92750. doi:10.1128/AEM.03833-12
  • Duijvesz D., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, M.A. Gritsenko, M. Hoogland, M.S. Vredenbregt-van den Berg, R. Willemsen, and T.n. Luider, et al. 2013. "Proteomic Profiling of Exosomes Leads to the Identification of Novel Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer." PLoS One 8, no. 12:Article No. e82589. PNNL-SA-88219. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082589
  • Isanapong J., S. Hambright, A.G. Willis, A. Boonmee, S.J. Callister, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, and L. Pasa-Tolic, et al. 2013. "Development of an ecophysiological model for Diplosphaera colotermitum TAV2, a termite hindgut Verrucomicrobium." The ISME Journal 7, no. 9:1803-1813. PNNL-SA-98615. doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.74
  • Lanekoff I.T., K.E. Burnum-Johnson, M. Thomas, J. Short, J.P. Carson, J. Cha, and S.K. Dey, et al. 2013. "High-Speed Tandem Mass Spectrometric in Situ Imaging by Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry." Analytical Chemistry 85, no. 20:9596-9603. PNNL-SA-96267. doi:10.1021/ac401760s
  • Piehowski P.D., V.A. Petyuk, J.D. Sandoval, K.E. Burnum, G.R. Kiebel, M.E. Monroe, and G.A. Anderson, et al. 2013. "STEPS: A Grid Search Methodology for Optimized Peptide Identification Filtering of MS/MS Database Search Results." Proteomics 13, no. 5:766-770. PNNL-SA-86051. doi:10.1002/pmic.201200096


  • Aylward F.O., K.E. Burnum, J.J. Scott, G. Suen, S.G. Tringe, S.M. Adams, and K.W. Barry, et al. 2012. "Metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into bacterial communities in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens." The ISME Journal 6, no. 9:1688-1701. PNNL-SA-82393. doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.10
  • Baker E.S., T. Liu, V.A. Petyuk, K.E. Burnum-Johnson, Y.M. Ibrahim, G.A. Anderson, and R.D. Smith. 2012. "Mass Spectrometry for Translational Proteomics: Progress and Clinical Implications." Genome Medicine 4. PNNL-SA-86783. doi:10.1186/gm364
  • Burnum K.E., Y. Hirota, E.S. Baker, M. Yoshie, Y.M. Ibrahim, M.E. Monroe, and G.A. Anderson, et al. 2012. "Uterine deletion of Trp53 compromises antioxidant responses in mouse decidua." Endocrinology 153, no. 9:4568-4579. PNNL-SA-87211. doi:10.1210/en.2012-1335
  • Diamond D.L., A. Krasnoselski, K.E. Burnum, M.E. Monroe, B.M. Webb-Robertson, J.E. McDermott, and M.M. Yeh, et al. 2012. "Proteome and Computational Analyses Reveal New Insights into the Mechanisms of Hepatitis C Virus Mediated Liver Disease Posttransplantation." Hepatology 56, no. 1:28-38. PNWD-SA-9552. doi:10.1002/hep.25649
  • Wiedner S.D., K.E. Burnum, L.M. Pederson, L.N. Anderson, S. Fortuin, L.M. Chauvigne-Hines, and A.K. Shukla, et al. 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, no. 40:33447-33459. PNNL-SA-87258. doi:10.1074/jbc.M112.394106


  • Burnum K.E., S.J. Callister, C.D. Nicora, S.O. Purvine, P. Hugenholtz, F. Warnecke, and R.H. Scheffrahn, et al. 2011. "Proteome Insights into the Symbiotic Relationship Between a Captive Colony of Nasutitermes corniger and its Hindgut Microbiome." The ISME Journal 5, no. 1:161-164. PNNL-SA-68831. doi:10.1038/ismej.2010.97
  • Lennen R.M., M.A. Kruziki, K. Kumar, R.A. Zinkel, K.E. Burnum, M.S. Lipton, and S.W. Hoover, et al. 2011. "Membrane Stresses Induced by Overproduction of Free Fatty Acids in Escherichia coli." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77, no. 22:8114-8128. PNNL-SA-83349. doi:10.1128/AEM.05421-11
  • Zhang H., K.E. Burnum, M.L. Luna, B.O. Petritis, J. Kim, W. Qian, and R.J. Moore, et al. 2011. "Quantitative proteomics analysis of adsorbed plasma proteins classifies nanoparticles with different surface properties and size." Proteomics 11, no. 23:4569-4577. PNNL-SA-74159. doi:10.1002/pmic.201100037