NIST logo

Kenneth D. Cole

Since joining NIST in 1988, I have been involved in a number of projects including working on separation technologies to improve the analysis and production of proteins and nucleic acids for the biotechnology industry. This work resulted in a number of publications, three patents, two CRADAs (with the American Red Cross and Life Technologies, Inc.) and the NIST, Department of Commerce, Bronze Medal in 1998 for Electrophoretic DNA Separations. The past five years, I have been working on improving measurements to support standards for biodefense. The goals of this program are to improve the methods for characterization and stability of the biological reference materials used to test detection devices, environmental sampling, and remediation techniques. This project has been funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is focused on the characterization of Bacillus anthracis (BA) spores and the protein toxin ricin, as well as the development of safe simulants for biological threats. The current goals of this project are to develop consensus standards for the characterization of BA spores and ricin in collaboration with standard committees. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded a project focused on the decontamination of biological agents in building water systems. In collaboration with the he Applied Genetics Group, we are working on an exciting new project to provide genotyping data for the authentication of cell lines used in research and biomanufacturing.

Memberships and Committees

American Chemical Society

American Society Microbiology

Member of AOAC, International Working Group for Standards for Handheld Assays, 2004-current

Member of the ATCC Steering Committee for Standards Development Organization, 2007-current

Advisor to U.S. Joint Forces Calibration Committee, U.S. Navy Metrology and Calibration Program on projects sponsored by the DOD related to detection of biological threats 2003-current

Representative Publications

Cole, K.D., Adolfas Gaigalas, and Björn Åkerman, “Single molecule measurements of trapped and migrating circular DNA during electrophoresis in agarose gels”. Electrophoresis, 27, 4396-4407 (2006).

Gaigalas, A.K., K.D. Cole, L. Wang, and P. DeRose “Photophysical Properties of Ricin”. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 83, 1-8 (2007).

Jamie L. Almeida, Bruce Harper, and K. D. Cole, “Bacillus anthracis spore suspensions: Determination of Stability and Comparison of Enumeration Technique”. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 104, 1442-1448 (2008).

L. Wang, K. D. Cole, A. Peterson, Hua-Jun He, A.K. Gaigalas, Y. Zong. Monoclonal Antibody Selection for Interleukin-4 Quantification Using Suspension Arrays and Forward-Phase Protein Microarrays. Journal of Proteome Research, 6, 4720-4727 (2007).

K. D. Cole, Adolfas Gaigalas, and Jamie L. Almeida “ Process Monitoring the Inactivation of Ricin and Model Proteins by Disinfectants using Fluorescence and Biological Activity” Biotechnology Progress, 24, 784-791(2008).

Holbrook, R. David, K.E. Murphy, J.B. Morrow, and K.D. Cole “Trophic Transfer of nanoparticles in` a Simplified Food Web” Nature Nanotechnology, 3, 352-355 (2008)

K.D. Cole, Leonard F. Pease III, De-Hao Tsai, Tania Singh, Scott Lute, Kurt A. Brorson, and Lili Wang “Particle Concentration Measurement of Virus Samples Using Electrospray Differential Mobility Analysis and Quantitative Amino Acid Analysis” (submitted).



Deputy Group Leader
Biochemical Science Division
Bioassay Methods Group


Johns Hopkins University, M.S. in Information and Telecommunications Systems for Business

Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Arizona, Department of Biochemistry, and the University of South Carolina, Department of Chemistry Columbia, SC

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Ph.D. in Medical Biochemistry

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA, B.S. in Zoology


Phone: 1-301-975-2169