Mary Maxon, Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences, announces that a Strategic Programs Development Group (SPDG) has been established in the Biosciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The group will be led by Katy Christiansen, who has been with the Area for six years in a strategic planning and program development capacity.
The SPDG will be comprised of Christiansen and two part-time developers, as well as some efforts of technical champions on a project-dependent basis. With a focus on sourcing and building new research programs, the SPDG will lead, manage, and execute program development activities in the Biosciences Area. These programs will be characterized as team science, multi-investigator efforts with the potential for $3 million or more in funding per year from federal, state, and/or private sponsors. The focus will be placed on efforts that have been designated priorities for Area-level support.
Christiansen has a Ph.D. in Plant Science from Indiana University Bloomington and was first employed by the Lab as a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint BioEnergy Institute. She was American Association for the Advancement of Science Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) for two years before returning to the Lab in 2014. Since she joined the Biosciences Area, Christiansen has had an impressive program development track record, leading the activities that led to successful support-building for the Agile BioFoundry, a consortium of seven national laboratories funded in 2016 by BETO that is dedicated to advance biomanufacturing across the public and private sectors. She has also worked with researchers to develop and manage program development activities for aspirational programs in Biosciences, leading to over $12M in non-competed federal funding for new research activities at the Lab.