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Research Aims at Capturing “Live” Cellular Processes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to provide up to $15 million for bioimaging research to develop new and improved instrumentation and approaches to visualizing metabolic processes in living cells.

“Visualizing cellular processes as they happen in vivo is critical to deepening our insight into biological processes,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “These techniques will provide the new methods needed to measure cellular processes as they happen—information important for understanding, predicting, and ultimately designing beneficial new biological processes.”

Research will have two main areas of focus: (1) development of new innovative or significantly improved instrumentation and (2) demonstration of improved observational techniques. The effort is aimed particularly at improving understanding of the complex cellular processes involved in conversion of plant biomass into biofuels and bioproducts, plant-microbe interactions, and carbon fixation in soil by microbes and plants, among other topics.

Applications will be open to universities, industry, and nonprofit research institutions as the lead institution, with possible collaborators at the DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies. Funding is to be awarded competitively, on the basis of peer review, and is expected to be in the form of three-year awards.

Planned funding is up to $5 million per year for three years beginning in Fiscal Year 2021, pending congressional appropriations. 

The DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement, issued by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) within the Department’s Office of Science, can be found on the BER funding opportunities page.


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