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Friday, June 19, 2009


Keasling Steps Down As Physical Biosciences Director

Jay Keasling has announced he is stepping down as director of the Physical Biosciences Division (PBD), a position he has held since April 2005. Keasling will remain the CEO for the Joint BioEnergy Institute and continue to serve as Berkeley Lab’s Acting Deputy Director. In addition, he is a professor of chemical and bioengineering at UC Berkeley. Keasling joined PBD in April, 2002 and was the first head of the Synthetic Biology Department. The search for a new PBD director has begun, but in the interim, Paul Adams will continue to serve as acting division director, a role he assumed this past January when Keasling became the Laboratory’s acting deputy director. The position, announcement number 23175, is posted here.

In The News: Somerville Leading Effort to Perfect Biofuels

somerville[East Bay Express] Chris Somerville arrived at UC Berkeley in early 2007 to run a new biofuels center with the wide-ranging scientific quest to help solve the global warming crisis. He and his fellow researchers are convinced that biofuels need not displace farmland or cause deforestation, and they're committed to developing more efficient, nonfood crops. He also defends the university's partnership with BP, arguing that it's naive to think that Big Oil won't play a critical role in developing the fuels of the future. More>

Construction: Ongoing Project Affects Centennial Drive Traffic

As a reminder, UC Berkeley is conducting electrical work from Centennial Road and Rim Way through the Strawberry Gate and down Lawrence Road. The work approximately tracks the Orange bus line. Traffic will be reduced to one lane at times, so those traveling in the area may encounter delays. Drivers and pedestrians are urged to use caution, follow flagger instructions and any posted signage.

HR Benefits: July Calendar of Events Available

From a new postdoc benefits orientation to a workshop on investment strategies for women, the HR Benefits department hosts a number of events to help staff manage their work and life. To assist in tracking upcoming events, the department produces a monthly calendar, and the July edition is now available.

diamondEmployee Activities: Scores From First Week of Softball Season

The Lab’s Summer Softball League kicked off play this past week, with eight teams battling for dominance. Scared Hitless lived up to its name with a 10-0 loss to Ballpark Estimates. And there was nothing clean about the SUDZ loss to Rated X, 11-0. While the Oakland Raiders have a tough time winning, the Lab’s Silver and Black had no trouble with Clean Sweep (14-4). The only tight game was between Animals and Small Ball, with the former eking out an 8-7 victory. If you want to check out the action for yourself, the teams play every Wednesday around 6 p.m. on Maxwell Field, adjacent to Memorial Stadium on campus.

flowersSpecial Event: Botanical Garden Hosts Green Gala

The UC Botanical Garden, located near the Lab’s Strawberry Gate entrance, is hosting a Green Gala Garden Party on Sunday, June 28, from 2 to 5 p.m. Activities include a sustainable fashion show, organic food and biodynamic wines, and a silent auction. The event is a fundraiser, with advance tickets priced at $95 and $115 at the door. As a reminder, Lab employees get free admission to the Botanical Garden. More>

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