Research in the Life Sciences Division contributes to strategic Berkeley Lab and National efforts to address scientific questions and provide solutions in the areas of cancer, DNA damage and repair, radiation biology, genome structure and function, neurodegenerative diseases, structural biology, bio-fuel production and bioremediation. This is accomplished by developing multi-disciplinary, multi-divisional and multi-institutional teams to approach problems of scale and/or technical complexity that can best be accomplished in a National Laboratory environment. Laboratory scientists participate actively in these multi-disciplinary programs while maintaining outstanding independent research programs in areas of Divisional strategic emphasis.
The Life Sciences Division is affiliated with the Biosciences Area which is focused on four major areas of research: Energy, Environment, Health, and Biomanufacturing. Divisional research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), primarily in the Office of Science; the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Department of Defense; NASA; and industrial, national and international collaborators.
In April 2014 five scientific programs were introduced (announcement) in the Life Sciences Division which complement the Division’s strengths (e.g. cancer biology), expand the integration with Berkeley Lab research, and align Division research efforts with Berkeley Lab's Biosciences Strategic Plan (BSP). The programs, which are not exclusionary, are:
- Mesoscale and Nanoscale Technologies Integrated by Structures (MANTIS), led by John Tainer
- Mesoscale BioImaging Technologies (MesoBIT), led by Manfred Auer
- Phenotype Responses Integrating Microbes and Environments (PRIME), led by Trent Northen
- Model Systems for Environmental Toxicology (ModSET), led by Susan Celniker and Ben (James) Brown
- Human Tissue and Microenvironment Biology (HTMB-Bioforge), led by Mark LaBarge