This summer the Biosciences Area has hosted student interns ranging from high school- through graduate school-level. They came to our laboratories through a number of programs dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. Some of our interns took time from their busy summer to share with us highlights of their experiences in the Biosciences Area.
Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon joined an international group of policy leaders, NGO, and industry representatives in Berlin last week to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with shifting from current industry practices to a sustainable bio-based economy. Maxon emphasized the importance of translating basic science to innovation by highlighting the Agile BioFoundry, a national laboratory-led consortium to advance biomanufacturing that is managed by Berkeley Lab.
Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon and Bruce Alberts, the chancellor’s leadership chair for science and education in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, co-wrote an editorial on “Science for State Legislatures” published this week in Science. In it, they make the case that state Science and Technology (S&T) Policy Fellowship programs, such as the nearly decade-old program in California’s state legislature (on whose advisory committee both serve), are a critical bridge between the scientific community and the government. Among other contributions, fellows help policymakers understand “science as a second language.” California’s program is itself modeled on the national American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) S&T Policy Fellowship Program, which over 45 years has enabled thousands of PhD scientists, engineers, and physicians to work for a year for the U.S. government. Alberts and Maxon believe that “the establishment of S&T fellowship programs in other states could greatly increase evidence-based policy-making and not only benefit state policy-makers but also help to inform national policy-making and society as a whole.”
The Director’s Distinguished Women in Science Speaker Series at Berkeley Lab kicked off on Monday, November 20, with Jennifer Doudna, a faculty scientist in the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, interviewed by NPR science correspondent Joe Palca. Doudna and Palca began the conversation by highlighting a common connection: They are both graduates of Pomona College in Southern California. From there, they covered a lot of ground, providing a vivid backdrop for the answer to the most pressing question of the day: How did Doudna discover the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tool?
This summer, Carolina Gutierrez completed her second internship through the DOE’s Community College Internship (CCI) program at the Lab’s Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit, mentored by Ling Liang. She is also active in trying to recruit other community college students to pursue STEM education. Learn more about Gutierrez’s internship here, and check out her Instagram takeover.