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DOE Awards $45.5 Million for Projects to Advance Biotechnology Research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $45.5 million for research projects geared towards understanding and harnessing nature’s biological processes to produce clean biofuels and bioproducts. This research will push the boundaries of biology and biotechnology research, while helping to enhance America’s energy security and build its clean energy economy. [Press Release]

Awardees will pursue research in the following topic areas:

  • Re-engineering microbes for converting plant biomass and synthetic polymers into valuable biofuels and bioproducts—21 projects will research the development of microbes—single-celled microscopic organisms—and their potential to produce biofuels and other bioproducts from renewable resources. Researchers will also study processes to convert synthetic polymers, like plastic, into new bio-based products. These projects build upon over a decade of DOE-supported advances in genomics and computational biology to generate biofuels and chemical building blocks for bioproducts. (Total award amount: $31 million. See list of awards.)
  • Developing new imaging capabilities to study plants and microorganisms to advance biofuel and bioproduct production—13 awards across 7 projects will develop new imaging capabilities to depict cellular processes in plants and microorganisms, in order to further scientists’ understanding of their genetic makeup to advance the production of biofuels and bioproducts from renewable plant biomass. Improved imaging techniques will help researchers validate their hypotheses of how cells function, and produce new predictive models of cellular metabolism. (Total award amount: $14.5 million. See list of awards.)