Several Biosciences Area personnel have been named as recipients of 2016 Berkeley Lab Director’s Awards. Yan Liang, a postdoctoral researcher in the Biological Systems & Engineering Division, was given an Early Scientific Career Award for her innovations that will enable the transformation of the field of plant synthetic biology. Liang works in the Feedstocks Division of the Joint BioEnergy Institute, where her work provides novel approaches for crop engineering to support Berkeley Lab and DOE’s missions related to sustainability, food and energy.
The recipient of the Scientific Director’s Award, Eva Nogales, a faculty biologist in the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, was recognized for elucidating the structure and function of the complex macromolecular machine affecting the initiation of transcription using cryo-electron microscopy. Transcription is a fundamental cellular process and major point of gene expression regulation, and insights into this machine’s structure and function have the potential to impact areas of interest.
William Jagust, an MBIB senior faculty scientist, was honored for Society Impact through his work to understand the causes and effects of Alzheimer’s disease. He has also conducted pioneering studies to elucidate the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and differentiate its symptoms from normal aging. He has developed clinical trials for its prevention and treatment and most importantly, communicated this work to the public and given hope for a cure to Alzheimer’s disease.
The CinderBio team of Jill Fuss and Steven Yannone, both researchers in the MBIB Division, launched a start-up this year and were recognized with the Technology Transfer Director’s Award. They were commended for their diligence, resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skill while transitioning their basic enzyme research into green, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable replacements for harsh chemicals used in industrial processes.
The Berkeley Lab Microbiome Initiative Team, comprised of Jim Bristow (Biosciences Area Office, left), Eoin Brodie (Earth & Environmental Sciences Area, EESA), Peter Nico (EESA), Trent Northen (Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology and the DOE Joint Genome Institute, JGI, right), and Susannah Tringe (JGI, left), was awarded the Director’s Award for Service. Through their efforts, they sought to enhance microbiome research across Berkeley Lab and the nation. The team worked together to craft a vision for microbiome research that integrates Biosciences and Earth and Environmental Science Areas, and made important contributions to the formulation of the National Microbiome Initiative.
A ceremony honoring all of the 2016 recipients will be held on November 17 at 3 PM in the Building 50 Auditorium.