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Karen W. Phinney

Karen Phinney joined NIST as an NRC postdoctoral fellow in 1994. Her early work at NIST focused on applications of supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) and capillary electrophoresis (CE) to enantiomeric separations. She then became involved in development of analytical techniques for clinical and nutritional analytes, including vitamin D, and developed expertise in mass spectrometric methods. She has been responsible for the development of reference materials and reference methods for forensic, clinical, and nutritional markers and has led efforts to develop standards for proteomics and metabolomics. In her current role as group leader of the Bioanalytical Science Group, she is involved in the development of techniques for protein characterization and quantification, including therapeutic proteins and protein biomarkers. She received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Hawaii – Manoa and also received an M.S. in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.


  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship

Membership and Professional Activities:

  • American Chemical Society (Chair-Elect, Division of Analytical Chemistry)
  • Joint Committee for Traceability in Laboratory Medicine
  • Vitamin D External Quality Assessment Scheme (DEQAS)
  • Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG)
Karen Phinney


Group Leader
Biomolecular Measurement Division
Bioanalytical Science Group

Employment History:

  • Analytical Chemist, Monsanto Company, 1984-1988
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Hawaii – Manoa, 1988-1991
  • Research Assistant, University of Hawaii – Manoa, 1991-1994
  • Research Chemist, NIST, 1994-present


  • Chemistry, B.A., Monmouth College 1984
  • Analytical Chemistry, M.S., University of Hawaii – Manoa 1992
  • Analytical Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Hawaii – Manoa 1994
  • Biotechnology, M.S., Johns Hopkins University 2009

Phone: 301-975-4457
Email: karen.phinney@nist.gov
Fax: 301-977-0685