The Biosciences Area is using science to solve energy, environmental, health, and biomanufacturing challenges. From early-career scientists to operations and support staff, it takes a diverse and dynamic team to make this type of science happen. Behind the Breakthroughs is a monthly profile series that showcases the people who support our mission.
Written by Ashleigh Papp
Edited by Greta Lorge
Julio Corral, Shepherd of Stuff
As the Property and Distribution Supervisor for the Integrative Genomics Building (IGB), Corral is responsible for keeping track of physical items in the building and equipment that’s been sent out to employees working from home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was reporting for work in-person, masked and ready for whatever challenges the day held.
Agustin Avila Sakar, Cryo-EM Trailblazer
Agustin AvilaSakar has spent nearly his entire career learning about cryo-EM technology. Now, he’s tasked with planning the cryo-EM facility in the new BioEPIC building and understanding how it could help further the tenant groups’ breakthrough research.
Pete Andeer, Robot Wrangler
For Pete Andeer, the idea to help solve some of our planet’s larger environmental issues came while he was living and working abroad. Now he’s on the team that’s building an all-in-one experimental robot station to understand the mechanics of plant and microbe interactions like never before.
Leah Freeman Sloan, Administrative Acrobat
In 2014, a friend passed along a link to an open administrator position with the Energy Technologies Area at Berkeley Lab. For Leah Freeman Sloan, working in a role that supports scientific research related to combating climate change seemed fulfilling on a personal level. And although she didn’t specialize in science, Sloan began to understand how her skills were essential to the program achieving its mission.
Miaw-Sheue Tsai, DNA Mender
Drawn to science at an early age, Miaw-Sheue Tsai remembers enjoying biology more than any other subject in school. “Chemistry was okay, physics next, and math at the very end,” Tsai recollected. To her, basic science was most interesting because it represented a foundation for everything and, with that, the tools needed to build solutions for the world.