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May 2, 2007

Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Elected to National Academy of Sciences

BERKELEY, CA —Graham Fleming, Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), and the Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California (UC) Berkeley, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the nation’s highest honors for a scientist. He is one of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates to be invited into this prestigious scientific organization that was established in 1863 under President Lincoln. Fleming’s election to the academy brings the total number of Berkeley Lab NAS members to 60.

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Graham Fleming

A native of England who earned his PhD in chemistry from the University of London, Fleming has been one of the key leaders of a major revolution in the biophysical sciences. During his career, he has spearheaded the creation of entire new scientific disciplines while maintaining his own ground-breaking investigations into ultrafast chemical and biological processes. In recent years, his research has focused on identifying the primary molecular steps of photosynthesis, with an ultimate goal of developing an artificial version for harnessing solar energy. He has also been deeply involved with Berkeley Lab’s Helios Project, an intensive multidisciplinary research initiative to create or advance new solar-based energy technologies, and was instrumental in procuring a $500 million grant from oil giant BP grant, to create the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI). The EBI is a collaborative effort between UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop renewable, carbon-neutral liquid biofuels for transportation energy.

Fleming came to Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley in 1997 after 18 years at the University of Chicago, where he rose through the academic ranks to become the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor, a post he held for ten years, starting in 1987. One of his first charges for Berkeley Lab was to establish a scientific division for physical biosciences. He became the director of that division and during his tenure created the world's first Synthetic Biology Department at a major scientific research institute. He was named Berkeley Lab’s Deputy Director in 2005, the same year in which he became a U.S. citizen.

In addition to his Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley responsibilities, Fleming also serves as the Berkeley Campus Director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3), a cooperative effort by the UC campuses of Berkeley, San Francisco and Santa Cruz to improve the scientific understanding of biological systems at all levels of complexity.

NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established by a congressional act that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology. With the 2007 election, which was held during the 144th annual meeting of the Academy, the
total number of active membership now stands at 2,025 and the total number of foreign associates at 387. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

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