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 aiming to solve the practical and environmental problems of traditional plastics. 

The research team has developed a game-changing plastic that can be recycled indefinitely, is not made from petroleum, and could replace traditional plastics in a variety of consumer products, from car parts to water bottles.

“This LDRD funding will support the development of a typology of transportation system vulnerability which will help with decision-making to bolster system resilience, and allows me to connect and collaborate with scholars outside the Lab network.”

“LDRD support allows me to catalyze our understanding of fundamental chemistry into the digital era.”

"Our ability to find natural sources of lithium and efficiently use them to store energy will transform the energy landscape, and this LDRD funding provides key details about the microscopic behavior of lithium that spans minerals and the battery materials made from them."

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.