Jay Keasling, a short-haired person wearing glasses, smiles for a headshot outdoors.

Artificial intelligence-driven design/synthetic biology

Using machine learning and cutting-edge software programs to speed up the process of designing and engineering biological pathways for producing important compounds.

Genome engineering

Using advanced gene editing tools to engineer plants and microbes capable of producing valuable, sustainable bioproducts.

Sustainable biomanufacturing

Harnessing microbes to produce biofuels and bioproducts from greenhouse gases — CO2 and methane — captured from the atmosphere.


Developing and optimizing all phases of bioproduct manufacturing processes, from host organism design to product purification.

Techno-economic analysis

Developing publicly-available techno-economic models: a type of simulation that analyzes the financial and environmental outcomes of biomanufacturing processes based on the technology used and the chemical inputs, allowing researchers to design the most efficient and responsible “recipes” for large-scale production.

Student works with plant samples on a shelf.

Inside the JBEI’s Emeryville laboratories, researchers are using the latest tools in molecular biology, chemical engineering, computational, and robotic technologies to transform biomass into biofuels and bioproducts.

Masked scientist holding a vial.

The ABPDU collaborates with academic labs, start-ups, and established companies to accelerate new biology-based products from early R&D to market readiness.

Two scientists sitting at a computer desk with instrumentation.

The Agile BioFoundry, a consortium of national laboratories dedicated to accelerating biomanufacturing and decarbonizing the economy, engineers biological systems to perform desired functions and produce molecules at optimal yields, efficiencies, and costs.

Two scientists working on a plant root sample.

The JGI provides integrated, high-throughput sequencing, DNA design and synthesis, cell metabolite analysis, and computational analysis that helps researchers engineer better biomanufacturing host organisms.

Plane flying overhead.

This DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office-funded consortium focuses on research to transform CO2 and electrons into sustainable aviation fuels.

Long grass in front of a smoking factory.

Berkeley Lab scientists are pioneering research to accelerate the development of negative emissions technologies, which capture and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or other sources or enhance natural carbon sinks, such as soils.

Green field in front of blue, cloud-filled sky.

Empowers the research community to harness microbiome data exploration and discovery through a collaborative integrative data science ecosystem.

Exterior view of a glowing energy industrial factory at sunset.

Berkeley Lab conducts unbiased analysis to evaluate the cost implications and environmental impacts of a wide range of energy technologies and strategies to support decision-making by groups.

Deepti Tanjore, a person with long dark hair wearing a red top with black pattern, photographed against a gray backdrop.

Deepti Tanjore is Director of the Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU). Her research focuses on modeling the impact of bioprocess conditions on microbial heterogeneity and developing in-line analytical tools for real-time adaptation of process development in bioreactors.

Nathan Hillson, a person with short gray hair wearing a green, brown, and white plaid shirt, photographed outdoors.

Nathan Hillson's work has spanned the realms of the private (notably as co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at TeselaGen Biotechnologies, Inc.) and public biotechnology sectors. He leads scientists and engineers whose domain expertise spans synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, microbiology, software engineering, and laboratory automation engineering.

Héctor García Martín, a person with short dark hair and a beard wearing glasses and a gray and white collared top, photographed against a gray background.

Héctor García Martín is a staff scientist in the Biological Systems and Engineering Division and director of data science and modeling at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). His research focuses on developing predictive models of biological systems, in the intersection of machine learning, synthetic biology and automation.

Cartoon illustration of a person standing in front of rows of recycling and composting receptacles. Chang Dou, a person with short black hair and dark-framed glasses, photographed against a gray backdrop.

Bio-based plastics were invented to help solve the plastic crisis, but they often end up making waste management harder when mixed with traditional plastics at recycling centers. Berkeley Lab scientists are working with Google X to make it possible to recycle the materials together and convert them into valuable new products using a sustainable, biology-driven process.

Research Scientist and Deputy Director of Host Engineering at the JBEI Thomas Eng is using the gene editing tool CRISPR to create a more sustainable plastic.

What do advanced medicines, renewable fuels, vegan burgers, smart fabrics, petroleum-free plastics, and cruelty-free cosmetics have in common? They’re all produced with specially engineered microbes! Yep, microbes. In episode three, we explore the fields of science making this 21st century industrial revolution possible: synthetic biology and biomanufacturing.

This illustration depicts the soap bark plant and intricate structure of QS-21. Two gloved hands holding petri dishes of fungi. Plant cells that look like rectangular boxes filled with green dots (chloroplasts) on a light background. Sorghum at the Agronomy Field. Colorful, abstract nebulous image. View of highway at sunrise with a semi coming toward the viewer.