Emily Smith

Division Director, Chemical & Biological Sciences at Ames Laboratory

Emily Smith is the Division Director for Chemical and Biological Sciences at Ames National Laboratory and a Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University.

She is an optical spectroscopist focusing on measurements that are traditionally inaccessible to light-based measurements. Her research interests are spectroscopy instrument development for the analysis of nanoscale phenomena in separations materials, plant and animal tissue; and understanding the molecular events that lead to the organization of the cell membrane.

She received a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and graduate degrees in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University (M.S.) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.). Her postdoctoral appointments were at University of Delaware and she was a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Arizona and the Arizona Cancer Center. She was a 2019-2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Technology Policy Fellow working at the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences.

Org chart


  • Division Director, Chemical & Biological Sciences

    Current role

View in org chart