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Biology research at Brookhaven National Lab is focused on synthetic biology, radiobiology, computational biology, structural biology and the characterization of biological systems. Together with the Collider-Accelerator Department, Biosciences operates the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL), used by radiobiologists and physicists to study space radiation effects.

Computational Biology & Bioinformatics

Work in this area focuses on quantitative predictive models of complex biological systems and their underlying networks. Research is concentrated on understanding how they achieve robustness against noise and perturbations, and how they change in the course of evolution.

Plant Sciences

The Plant Sciences group's goal is to understand the principles underlying carbon capture, conversion, and storage in living systems; and develop the capability to model, predict and optimize these processes in plants and microorganisms.

Molecular & Structural Biology

This group studies structures and biological functions of proteins. We develop facilities for x-ray crystallography at the NSLS and NSLS-II for use by the scientific community, and continue to improve the T7 expression system developed here for producing proteins from cloned genes. Research explores the types of protein structures found in nature, elucidates large protein complexes by single-molecule Cryo-EM, and analyzes protein folding, interactions and enzyme function in a variety of biological systems.

NASA Space Radiation Laboratory Support Group

Provides experimental, logistical and technical support at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory and the Tandem Van de Graaff. These facilities are some of the few in the world that can simulate the harsh cosmic and solar radiation environment found in space, as well as exploring promising new avenues for cancer and disease treatments.

Radiochemistry and Biological Imaging

Develops methodologies to help achieve our nation’s goal of increased use of renewable energy. The program is structured into four R&D areas including radiotracer chemistry, imaging instrumentation, radiotracer methodology and biological applications with a major focus on the whole plant and bioenergy grasses.

The Biology Department is part of the Environment, Biology, Nuclear Science & Nonproliferation Directorate at Brookhaven National Laboratory.