The Joint Genome Institute’s Ben Cole is one of five Berkeley Lab scientists selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to receive funding through the Early Career Research Program (ECRP). Under the program, researchers based at DOE national laboratories will receive $500,000 per year, for five years, to cover salary and research expenses.
Cole is a research scientist at JGI. His focus is on exploring how plants respond and adapt to their physical or biological surroundings using functional genomics strategies. His award is for a project that will employ sequencing and molecular profiling techniques to examine the genes and gene-regulating processes underlying how individual cells in two prominent bioenergy crops – sorghum and switchgrass – respond to drought and nutrient limitation. The work will also investigate how beneficial fungi and bacteria in the soil microbiome interact with the plants under these stress conditions. The findings will help scientists develop advanced crop strains and agricultural practices that promote healthier, more sustainable farmland ecosystems.
Read more in the Berkeley Lab News Center.