Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Black background. Reddish orange orbs with green wispy lines.



NIST provides measurement assurance for the biotechnology industry through the development of quantitative analytical measurement tools for nucleic acids, proteins, metabolites, and cell systems to aid industry in the deployment of innovative biotechnologies and advanced biomaterials.

NIST standards and reference materials underpin advances in bioscience and biotechnology, contributing to human health and the U.S. economy.

NIST provides: 

  • Quantitative measurements
  • Reference materials for quality control
  • Data for benchmarking
  • Leadership and technical advice for U.S. and international standards development efforts

We have specialized expertise in and equipment for measuring biological processes and systems, along with experience in managing the large amounts of data these measurements produce. Our work benefits: 

  • Clinical medicine
  • The biopharmaceutical industry
  • Regulatory agencies
  • The DNA forensics community
  • The mass spectrometry community
  • The synthetic biology industry
  • Equipment manufacturers

The NIST Biofoundry

NIST Living Measurement Systems Foundry
NIST Living Measurement Systems Foundry
The NIST Living Measurement Systems Foundry is enabling reliable, scalable, and safe engineering of cells that can sense and respond in controlled ways for applications such as living therapeutics, environmental remediation, and structured materials fabrication. This automated facility combines high throughput measurements and machine learning to create rapid design-build-test-learn cycles for cellular engineering. For more info:

Key Accomplishments

The Research

Projects & Programs

Genome in a Bottle

Consortium hosted by NIST dedicated to authoritative characterization of benchmark human genomes. Sign up for General GIAB and Analysis Team email lists

Environmental Metabolomics

The metabolomics program at NIST is a collaboration between multiple institutions located at the Hollings Marine Laboratory (HML) in Charleston, SC. This

Additional Resources Links


Research Finds Dolphins With Elevated Mercury Levels in Florida and Georgia

With Some Bumps, NIST Scientists Devise a Novel Way to Extend the Wavelength Range of Microcombs

Spotlight: For Bioinformaticist Sierra Miller, the Scientific Breakthrough Is Hidden in the Data

Stay in Touch

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest research, trends, and news for Bioscience.