Numerous Biosciences Area personnel are among the 2021 Berkeley Lab Director’s Awards honorees. This annual program recognizes outstanding contributions by employees to all facets of Lab activities. A complete list of winners can be found here. The 10th annual Director’s Awards ceremony will take place on November 18 at noon.
A paper by Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) researchers has been ranked among the top 10% most cited PLOS ONE articles. “A Thermophilic Ionic liquid-tolerant Cellulase Cocktail for the Production of Cellulosic Biofuels” published in 2012 has already been viewed 8,871 times and cited 50 times as of today. The paper reports the development of an Ionic Liquid-tolerant cellulase cocktail by combining thermophilic bacterial glycoside hydrolases produced by a mixed consortia with recombinant glycoside hydrolases.
The development of omics technologies, such as metabolomics and proteomics, and systems biology have dramatically enhanced our ability to understand biological phenomena. Nevertheless the interpretation of large omics data into meaningful ‘knowledge’ as well as the understanding of complex metabolic interactions in engineered microbes remains challenging. Biological Systems & Engineering Division researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and led by principal investigator Taek Soon Lee, have developed a workflow that integrates various omics data and genome-scale models to study the effects of biofuel production in a microbial host. Read more on the JBEI website.
New Biosynthesis Pathways for Five-Carbon Alcohol from Mevalonate Are Available For Licensing
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed two novel biosynthesis pathways for five-carbon alcohol (isopentenol or 3-methyl-3-buten-1-ol) from mevalonate that reduce the energy demand and cost of earlier applications of the mevalonate pathway by using genetically engineered host cells, whose culturing stage can happen both in anaerobic or aerobic conditions. This invention can be used in an industrial scale, even under oxygen-limited conditions. These modified pathways would be a good platform for industrial production of isopentenol which is a potential gasoline alternative and a precursor of commodity chemicals such as isoprene. Read more on the JBEI website.
The Department of Energy’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI) Chief Executive Officer, Jay Keasling, has announced that Aindrila Mukhopadhyay will step into the role of Vice President of the Fuels Synthesis Division. This announcement comes after a national search and interview process. Mukhopadhyay, who joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in 2003, will continue to serve as Director of JBEI’s Host Engineering group and as Interim Division Director of Berkeley Lab’s Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) in the Biosciences Area.