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Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008

People: Berkeley Lab Bioengineer to Receive NIH ‘New Innovator Award’

Image of Sanjay KumarSanjay Kumar, Berkeley Lab Researcher and UC Berkeley assistant professor of bioengineering, is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) New Innovator Award. Kumar is one of 31 recipients of the award, announced Monday by NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni. The award recognizes investigators who are in the early stages of their careers and who have not previously held regular research grants from the NIH. Kumar, 34, will receive $1.5 million over the next five years to support his research program, which combines approaches from biophysics, systems biology and oncology to study how cells sense and process mechanical forces in human health and disease. More>

Image of Jeff MillerPeople: Jeff Miller Joins Lab as New Head of Public Affairs

Jeff Miller, director of Communications and Creative Development at the University of California, San Francisco, has been named the new head of Public Affairs at Berkeley Lab. A former newspaper reporter and senior editor at Hearst Magazines in New York, Miller is a 24-year public affairs veteran. During his career, he has won more than a dozen national science writing and publications awards and is credited with developing and executing a wide range of integrated communications, branding and web-based strategies that increased public awareness and support. Miller began his new duties on September 15.

Facilities Update: Building 937 Move Kicks Off

It’s finally happening. The building 937 move kicked off this week as employees from Internal Audit Services moved from their downtown office to the main site. Also this week, employees from Tech Transfer and Human Resources moved to new buildings within the Lab. This week’s moves jump-start a process in which approximately 390 staff will move to new workspaces between now and January. This will allow 179 employees who work in Building 937, which is located in downtown Berkeley, to move to the main site. The move will foster improved collaborations among Lab employees by bringing the Lab community together, and save money by allowing the Lab to end Building 937’s annual lease. Go here for more information and a complete schedule.

Research News: Grant to Aid Classroom Ventilation/Test Score Research

Image of a classroomA team in the Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division received a grant from the U.S. Green Building Council to spur advances in sustainable building practices.  Mark Mendell, Michael Apte, and Agnes Lobscheid will use web-linked environmental monitoring technology to quantify the relationship between classroom ventilation and standardized test performance in elementary school students.

JGI Update: IMG, IMG/M System Expanded, Educational Website Launched

Image of scientistsThe Joint Genome Institute has extended the capabilities of the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data management system, updated the content of the IMG/M metagenome data management and analysis system, and launched its educational companion site, IMG/EDU. The changes are the result of a collaboration between the JGI and Berkeley Lab’s Biological Data Management and Technology Center. More>

Computing News: NOAA Awarded 2.6 Million Processor Hours at NERSC

Image of computers

As part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA has been awarded 10 million processor hours at NERSC, Oak Ridge and Argonne, to develop and perform scientific simulations of the global climate at unprecedented resolution. Under the agreement, the Office of Science and NOAA will work together to “improve the quality of and quantify the uncertainty of climate and weather prediction, including improving the prediction of high-impact weather events to provide the best science-based climate and weather information for management and policy decisions.” For more details on the agreement, see the press release. To read more about the project, go here.