Dick_Smith-250Over the last three decades, Richard D. Smith, director of proteomics at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has made numerous fundamental advances in mass spectrometry (MS) and the emerging field of proteomics. His work has helped introduce advanced microanalytical separations and accurate MS instrumentation and techniques for quantitative, ultra-sensitive, high-resolution, rapid measurements of proteins and other biomolecules in complex biological systems.

Smith’s work has tackled the problems of Parkinson's disease, cancer, and biofuels production, and over the past five years his contributions to proteomics measurements have laid critical groundwork for breakthrough advancements in systems biology.

Since 1983, Smith has won 10 R&D 100 Awards for innovations ranging from combined capillary electrophoresis-MS (1988) to an on-line liquid chromatography-high mass measurement Fourier transform MS platform (2003) that enables automated high-throughput measurements. Among his other accomplishments are the development of a 3D mapping methodology for brain disease, characterization of responses to Salmonella infection, protein degradation patterns from breast cancer patients, and the first large-scale population proteomics study.

Most recently, Smith developed a “next-generation” proteomics measurement platform that utilizes ion mobility separations to reduce proteome analysis times from several hours to several minutes. Smith has been with PNNL since 1976.


  • 1971 BS, Chemistry, Univ. of Massachusetts at Lowell
  • 1975, PhD, Physical Chemistry, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City


  • 38 patents

Publications, Presentations, and Citations

  • 775 papers

Selected R&D 100 Awards

  • 1983 Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer
  • 1988 Electrospray Ionization Interface
  • 1988 Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Fluid Solutions
  • 1988 Capillary Electrophoresis-Electrospray Ionization-MS
  • 1998 MICLEAN™/MICARE™ Solvent Cleaning Systems
  • 1998 Rapid Microdialyzer
  • 1999 Electrodynamic Ion Funnel
  • 2003 FT-MS Proteome Express
  • 2009 Ultrasensitive Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Source Interface
  • 2010 Ion Mobility Spectrometer on a Microchip