Unraveling the complexities of biological systems
Developing novel strategies to model, predict, and redesign sustainable bioenergy crops
Researchers in Brookhaven's Biology Department seek to unravel and describe the complexities of biological systems—from how plants make oils and other products to the role of proteins in disease. Our work helps to develop the tools and techniques of biochemistry, molecular genetics, and structural biology. The work of the Department leverages the unique capabilities of Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source-II and Center for Functional Nanomaterials, major research facilities open to scientists from around the world.
This research contributes to the fulfillment of the missions of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences and Office of Biological and Environmental Research. Together with the Collider-Accelerator Department, the Biology Department manages the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at Brookhaven, which is used by radiobiologists and physicists to study the effects of space radiation on both living and non-living systems with the aim of protecting future astronauts.
We're working to understand the principles underlying carbon capture, conversion, and storage in living systems and to develop the capability to model, predict and optimize these processes in plants and microorganisms.
Studying structures and biological functions of proteins, including those involved in basic cellular function, disease processes and a molecular-level understanding of how proteins work can point to targets for the development of new drugs, ways to modify enzyme activity and biological processes.
Using the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) to study how energetic particles interact with cells, DNA, and shielding materials helps to characterize the risks future astronauts may face on long space missions and provide the basis for designing protective strategies.
The Biology Department is part of Brookhaven's Environment, Biology, and Nuclear Science & Nonproliferation Directorate.