Feature Article


Elbert Branscomb selected as Associate Director for Biology and Biotechnology Research

DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Elbert Branscomb

Elbert Branscomb, the chief scientist for the Department of Energy's Genome Program and the former director of the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek has been selected as the new Associate Director for Biology and Biotechnology Research (BBRP) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The appointment is effective immediately. Branscomb will replace Bert Weinstein, who has served as acting associate director for the directorate since 2000.

"Elbert's background as a physicist, biomedical scientist and as the former director of the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) will help position our laboratory effectively for the new bioscience revolution," said Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio. "He has strong ties to many external scientific organizations and is extremely well-respected. I look forward to having him on my management team. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Bert Weinstein for his leadership these past few years. Through his dedication, we were able to significantly expand our role in biodefense, continue our role with JGI and join with the University of California, Davis in the National Institute of Health's Joint Cancer Center and with the National Science Foundation's Center for Biophotonics," he said.

As Associate Director, Branscomb will be responsible for developing and managing a diverse portfolio of highly interdisciplinary research and technology development programs in bioscience, biotechnology and biomedicine -- including research in genomics, proteomics, molecular and structural biology, disease susceptibility and prevention, computational biology and microbial biology. He will supervise approximately 325 employees.

"There is a profound revolution going on in life science research and I look forward to helping the Laboratory become a major engine of discovery for the nation in this erupting new science," said Branscomb. "The Lab brings potent assets to this effort. By working closely with other interested directorates I believe BBRP can nucleate the strong lab-wide program that reaching this ambitious goal will demand."

Since 2000, Branscomb has served as the Chief Scientist for the Department of Energy's Genome Program. He also served as the founding director of the Joint Genome Institute, in Walnut Creek, from 1996 to 2000 and as a senior biomedical scientist at LLNL from 1969 to 1996. He joined the Laboratory in 1964 as a theoretical physicist.

Branscomb received his B.A. in physics from Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1957 and his Ph.D in theoretical physics from Syracuse University, New York, in 1964.

In addition to his positions at the Lab and at the Department of Energy, Branscomb serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for UCLA's Structural Biology Program; the Scientific Advisory Board for the Joint Center for Structural Genomics, La Jolla, and has been an invited reviewer for more than 20 special National Institute of Health (NIH) review panels. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Computational Biology and was named an Edward Teller Fellow by LLNL in 2001. He is also the author of more than 39 publications.


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a multi-disciplinary, national security laboratory that applies to science and technology to the significant issues of our time. The Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

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