Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, a professor at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab, is co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “the development of a method for genome editing.”
In 2008, Doudna’s nascent research on CRISPR RNA strands and the Cas1 protein was funded by an LDRD program award through her Berkeley Lab affiliation.
An LDRD grant in 1996 provided the critical resources for Saul Perlmutter to prove his theory that the expansion of the universe was accelerating. Perlmutter won the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011.
LDRD supported a project to capture greenhouse gases and convert them into a useful product.
By bioengineering a microbe, scientist Deepika Awasthi hopes to be able to capture both methane and carbon dioxide and produce a useful chemical that can be used in everyday products, such as automobile coatings and advanced textiles.
"This LDRD funding allows me to work with policymakers and stakeholders to develop energy equity metrics that will inform a just energy transition."
“We are exploring new ways to measure carbon in soil. For our project we combine expertise from two divisions to develop a new instrument that has the potential to solve the problem of measuring and verification of carbon in acre-sized fields at scale.”
“This LDRD funding will advance high-speed controls for complex laser and accelerator systems that are beyond the capacity of traditional control methods. This development is made possible by adapting machine learning algorithms to Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) hardware.”
The LDRD program is the single most important tool Berkeley Lab has to set strategic research directions and is considered to be the Lab’s “seed funds for the future.” LDRD has been a critical component in the support of high-potential projects across the Lab, helping to grow them from proof of principle projects to fully mature — and DOE-funded — programs.