BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

DOE-Funded Scientist Named 2006 Scientist of the Year.
Published: December 04, 2006
Posted: December 15, 2006

Jay Keasling of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been named 2006 Scientist of the Year by Discover magazine for his contributions to synthetic biology and its use to integrate genes from different species into a microbe to fabricate a drug for malaria. Keasling engineered yeast to produce artemisinic acid, a highly effective antimalarial drug that is normally extracted from sweet wormwood in a slow and expensive process. This work has resulted in a $43 million award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Keasling is funded by DOE's Genomics:GTL program, not for his malarial research but for his fundamental research on how microbes respond to changes in their environment, information that will be important in developing biology based strategies for environmental remediation and bioenergy.

Contact: David Thomassen, SC-23, (301) 903-9817
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: Biosystems Design
  • Cross-Cutting: Lectures, Awards, and Recognition
  • Legacy: Medical Applications

Division: SC-33 BER
      (formerly SC-23 OBER)


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)