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New chief scientist joins Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

Sherry Cady to provide scientific leadership at PNNL-based research center

July 03, 2012 Share This!

  • Sherry L. Cady

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Sherry L. Cady, an expert on how microbes living in extreme environments interact with and influence their surroundings, has joined the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She will serve as the chief science officer for DOE's EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory on PNNL's campus. In this role, Cady will guide the science vision for EMSL, a facility used by hundreds of researchers every year.

EMSL is DOE's premier molecular sciences laboratory with state-of-the-art and unique instruments such as powerful microscopes, spectrometers, and a supercomputer named Chinook. The instruments are run by scientific staff who support a broad range of users, both visiting researchers and those who tap into EMSL resources remotely. The instruments and support staff, funded by DOE, are available to biologists, chemists, geologists, physicists, environmental, materials, and medical research scientists.

About 700 researchers each year gain access through a competitive proposal process. Researchers from all 50 states and almost 30 countries have studied problems at the molecular level that reveal how natural and man-made systems operate.

Cady's leadership will guide the use of current instruments and the development of new ones, as well as the science themes around which EMSL proposals are selected. EMSL staff also pursue their own research, and Cady will provide direction and enhance interdisciplinary collaborations for those activities as well.

"Sherry will advance EMSL's science vision that distinguishes EMSL science, staff and capabilities and address complex national challenges," said Allison Campbell, EMSL's director. "As a current EMSL user, she knows what makes EMSL unique. This gives her novel insight as she helps us identify science opportunities and enabling capabilities for the future."

Cady comes to EMSL from Portland State University in Oregon, where she served as professor of geology since 1998. She also developed several professional development courses for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers at the university's Center for Science Education. She is the founding and current editor-in-chief of Astrobiology, a leading peer-reviewed research journal dedicated to understanding life's origin, evolution and distribution in the universe. She earned doctorate and bachelor's degrees in geology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tags: EMSL, Operations, Staff Appointments

EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, is a national scientific user facility sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Science.  Located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., EMSL offers an open, collaborative environment for scientific discovery to researchers around the world. Its integrated computational and experimental resources enable researchers to realize important scientific insights and create new technologies. Follow EMSL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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