Today at Berkeley Lab

Working Groups Formed to Address BERAC Grand Challenges

The Lab-wide Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC) Grand Challenges Visioning Workshop was held on October 16, 2017. Seventy-seven attendees from across the Lab gathered to learn more about the BERAC Grand Challenges draft report and participated in five breakout sessions.

Sharlene Weatherwax, Associate Director for Biological and Environmental Research from DOE’s Office of Science addressed the workshop, charging attendees to think through new approaches to address the Grand Challenges outlined in the document. During the report-outs at the end of the day, new program concepts were received enthusiastically and will continue to be developed through working groups. These groups may sponsor further targeted workshops or generate compelling white papers that can be bundled together for delivery to BER and other interested funders in January 2018. Participation in working groups is open to everyone regardless of attendance at the workshop.

Interested Lab staff are encouraged to reach out to the points-of-contact listed below by November 7, 2017 if they would like to join. The groups are not constrained by the breakout topic summary titles or the workshop discussions; they are charged with developing new and creative program concepts. Additionally, groups should consider multi-disciplinary approaches that leverage and build enduring capabilities at Berkeley Lab and that can include collaborators across national labs, universities, and other sectors. For general questions, contact Katy Christiansen.

Working Group Topics and Points-of-Contact:

1) User facilities, data sharing, and data standards: Kjiersten Fagnan

2) Carbon cycling and integrated environmental modeling: Corinne Scown

3) High-throughput functional phenotyping: Katy Christiansen

4) Efficient biological engineering in any host and production of biomaterials: Melissa Summers

5) Microbiome prediction, design, and control: Ali Douraghy