environment as a result of fallout from weapons testing, and the immunologic and genetic consequences of radiation. By 1992, the program was doing little radiation work but was heavily involved in studying the mechanisms of genetic damage from toxic chemicals and disease. A reorganization yielded the Biology and Biotechnology Research Directorate, with an increased emphasis on biotechnology and structural biology, while environmental studies joined similar efforts in the Environmental Programs Directorate.

The Biology and Biotechnology Research Program has an annual funding level of approximately $30 million, primarily from peer-reviewed research grants. About half of that funding is through Department of Energy grants; the other half is from various sources, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies, as well as industry. Its activities fall under four programs:

  1. Health Effects assesses exposure to toxic agents, carcinogens, and mutagens for a wide variety of sources; also studies DNA repair, the genetics of cancer susceptibility, and biodosimetry.
  2. Health Care applies Livermore-developed technology to disease detection and treatment.
  3. Structure-Function Analysis investigates proteins and other molecules responsible for maintaining the integrity of the human genome.
  4. Genomics develops recombinant DNA clones, DNA mapping and sequencing techniques, and instrumentation and informatics tools to characterize the genes of microorganisms, animals, and humans. The LLNL Human Genome Center is the focus of this activity.

Human Genome Center

DOE has established genome centers at three sites, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Together with 18 multidisciplinary Genome Science and Technology Centers supported by the NIH National Center of Human Genome Research, they form the backbone of the Human Genome Project. The Human Genome Center at LLNL was established in 1990 as an outgrowth of ongoing work on DNA repair genes, specifically on chromosome 19. A multidisciplinary team of chemists, biologists, physicists, mathematicians, engineers, and computer scientists, the center is organized into four broad areas: Resources, Physical Mapping, DNA Sequencing, and Enabling Technologies. Each area consists of multiple projects led by a principal investigator. Together they labor at three



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement