Science and Technology Advisor, Chemical and Biological Signatures
Science and Technology Advisor, Chemical and Biological Signatures


Dr. Rachel Bartholomew is a science and policy advisor and team lead in the Chemical and Biological Signatures Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She has over two decades of experience applying molecular biology to address national security, policy, and nonproliferation challenges. She has served as principal investigator and project manager for a variety of sponsors, including Departments of Homeland Security, Energy, State, and Defense, engaging with a range of domestic and international stakeholders including first responders, law enforcement, customs and border personnel, policymakers, and scientific subject matter experts. 

Topics of these efforts range from scientific engagements on WMD threats with international partners, assessment of the research for the future of emergency management, and development and testing biological agent characterization methods and testing of white powder samples and for the first responder community, to analysis and visualization of U.S. biodefense policy. She has publications in the synthetic biology supply chain, a tool for biodefense policy visualization, and the evaluation of current off-the-shelf biodetection kits. 

In 2023, Bartholomew was named Deputy Director for the Northwest Regional Technology Center, a virtual resource operated by PNNL to support local and regional preparedness, resiliency, response, and recovery. Concurrently, she is the principal investigator on projects exploring first responder technology, emergency management, and emergency operations centers of the future. These efforts leverage her decades of experience building relationships and connecting with the first responder community to capture and translate their technical requirements into research and solutions.

She received her BA in biology from Case Western Reserve University and PhD in animal physiology from Cornell University, where she was a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow. Her post-doctoral training was completed at the FBI Laboratory Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit. 

Disciplines and Skills

Biosecurity, Biodefense, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Testing and Evaluation


PhD, Animal Physiology, Cornell University

Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Case Western Reserve University

Affiliations and Professional Service

American Society of Microbiology

American Association for the Advance of Science

Awards and Recognitions

2018-2020 - Management Skills Development Program, PNNL

2017 - Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL

2017 - Nominated for Of the Year (OTY) Award:  PNNL NSD OTY Core Values Award

2014 - Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL

2014 - OTY Award:  PNNL NSD Project Team OTY for DHS Project; Role:  Project Manager, PNNL

2012 - Nominated and selected to attend “Battelle Women in Science and Engineering Symposium” and part of the delegation from PNNL

2010 - OTY Award:  PNNL NSD Project Team OTY Award for DHS Project; Role:  Project Manager, PNNL

2006-2008 - Scientist and Engineer Development Program, PNNL

2000-2001 - State University of New York Fellowship, Cornell University

1997-2000 - National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Cornell University



  1. RA Bartholomew and KM Omberg.  “Making Sense of the 2018 National Biodefense Strategy.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  January 2019. 
  2. KM Omberg, LR Franklin, DR Jackson, KL Taylor, KL Wahl, A Lesperance,  EM Wynkoop, JAS Gray, OP Leiser , SL Frazar, RM Ozanich , and RA Bartholomew. “A Publicly Available Landscape Analysis Tool for Biodefense.” Health Security. February 16(1): 2018.  DOI:  10.1089/hs.2017.0088
  3. Frazar S,  Hund G, Bonheyo GT, Diggans J, Bartholomew RA,  Gehrig L, Greaves M.  2017; Analyzing the Synthetic Biology Supply Chain Reveals Opportunities to Enable Beneficial Research and Deter Unwanted Consequences.” Heath Security. August 15(4).  Online pre-release:  DOI: 10.1089/hs.2016.0083
  4. Bartholomew RA, RM Ozanich, JS Arce, A Heredia-Langer, KH Jarman, HA Colburn, BA Hofstad, JR Hutchison, AM Melville, CJ Bruckner-Lea. 2017 “Evaluation of Immunoassays and General Biological Indicator Tests for Bacillus anthracis and Ricin Detection.” Health Security. Feb; 15(1): 81-96.
  5. RM Ozanich, Colburn HA, KV Victry, RA Bartholomew,  JS Arce, A Heredia-Langer, KH Jarman, HK Kreuzer, CJ Bruckner-Lea. 2017. “Evaluation of PCR instruments For Field Detection of Bacillus anthracis.” Health Security. Feb; 15(1): 70-80.
  6. RA Bartholomew, J Hutchison, T Straub, D Call. 2016. PCR, Real-Time PCR, Digital PCR, and Isothermal Amplification, p 2.3.2-1-2.3.2-13. In Yates M, Nakatsu C, Miller R, Pillai S (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818821.ch2.3.2
  7. T Straub T, D Call, CJ Bruckner-Lea, H Colburn, C Baird, RA Bartholomew, RM Ozanich, K Jarman. 2016. Field Application of Pathogen Detection Technologies, p 2.3.4-1-2.3.4-17. In Yates M, Nakatsu C, Miller R, Pillai S (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818821.ch2.3.4
  8. Bartholomew RA, Ozanich RM, Bruckner-Lea CJ.  2015 “Technology Development and Science Based Solutions” DomPrep.
  9. Ozanich RM, CJ Bruckner-Lea, RA Bartholomew. 2015.  "National Laboratory Support for First Responders’ Biodetection Needs" DomPrep.