When Biosciences Area Principal Deputy Mary Maxon served as the Assistant Director for Biological Research at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), she developed the first-ever National Bioeconomy Blueprint. The document, released in April 2012, outlines strategies to grow and manage this $325B+ sector of the US economy. A testament to its role in driving innovation, the Blueprint is listed as item number 49 in an impact report detailing the top 100 Examples of President Obama’s Leadership in Science, Technology, and Innovation.
Jay Keasling, Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences, announced that N. Louise Glass, PhD, has accepted the position of Division Director for the Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology (EGSB) Division. She will continue as a professor at UC Berkeley while she leads the Division, beginning this July.
Microbiomes are communities of microorganisms that live on and in people, plants, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere, playing important roles in each ecosystem. Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched the National Microbiome Initiative, designed to advance the understanding of microbiome behavior and enable the protection of healthy microbiomes. With its Microbes to Biomes program, Berkeley Lab is well positioned to contribute. Both Mary Maxon, Principal Deputy for Biosciences, and Trent Northen, Interim Director of Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology, worked with Eoin Brodie of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Division and other leading scientists to co-author an mBio editorial that calls for a predictive understanding of Earth’s microbiomes to address 21st century challenges in the areas of energy, health, and environment. Read more at the Berkeley Lab News Center.
Scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute have created a stripped-down life form, with a minimal number of genes needed to keep it going. They hope to use it as a platform to create designer life forms, and say it’s already taught some important, and humbling, lessons about the essence of life. Berkeley Lab’s Adam Arkin, Interim Biosciences Deputy for Science, and Samuel Deutsch, DOE Joint Genome Institute, comment on the research in this NBC News story.
Jay Keasling, Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences, has announced that Paul Adams has accepted the position of Division Director for the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division. Adams served as the MBIB Interim Division Director since the Biosciences Area re-organization took effect this past October 1 and has been instrumental in developing a strategic plan and leading the effort to launch the Division.