Introducing: Keith Ward

I’m delighted to introduce new Affiliate Faculty Member of the Departments of Molecular and Microbiology and Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at George Mason University, Keith B. Ward, Ph.D.

Keith will be contributing to the Pandora Report, so check here for his articles!


Keith retired as Senior Science Advisor, FBI Laboratory, in 2011. There he coordinated basic and applied Science and Technology (S&T) efforts between the FBI and other government agencies and provided technical expertise to the Head of the FBI Laboratory and the Director of the FBI S&T Branch.

Prior to joining the FBI, Keith was Chief of the Research and Development Branch and Science Advisor to the Director, Chemical and Biological Division, of the DHS S&T Directorate. This Branch develops novel basic and applied technology to counter chemical and biological threats within the US. He represented S&T on several Homeland Security Council Inter-agency Policy Coordination work groups.

After receiving a BS in physics (Texas A&M) and a PhD in biophysics (Johns Hopkins), Dr. Ward became a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin. In 1984 he joined the Naval Research Laboratory, as team leader of the macromolecular crystallography and molecular modeling group. His research focused on understanding the structure and function of proteins involved with marine bioluminescence, chemical agent-degrading enzymes, and phospholipase A2 snake venom toxins. In 1993, he became a NASA flight principal investigator, and his group developed remote-controlled protein crystallization systems for both Space Shuttle and Space Station experiments.

In 1995 Dr. Ward joined the Office of Naval Research and served as chair of the Biomolecular and Biosystems group within the Cognitive, Neural, and Biomolecular Science and Technology Division. He served as the Navy’s representative to the Joint Services Technical Panel for Decontamination and to the Joint Warfighting Science and Technology Plan Chapter on Combating Terrorism.

He received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2003 and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional in 2008. Keith was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Former Students by the College of Science, Texas A&M University in 2013.

Since retiring, Keith serves on the Steering Group of the AAAS STEM Volunteers supporting Fairfax County Public Schools: . He serves as pro-bono technical advisor on chemical warfare to both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. To pursue a new avocation, Keith became a docent in the Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2013.

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