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LBNL, UC Berkeley to Take Over Former Bayer Lab for Integrated Biology Research

NEW YORK, March 7 (GenomeWeb News) - Multidisciplinary biology research efforts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, will have a new home beginning next month, when around 200 scientists and staff are expected to begin moving into a 72,000-square-foot facility previously leased to Bayer.

 

The lab space, located at

717 Potter Street
in Berkeley, Calif., was renovated for biotech research in 1997, and includes large general laboratories, adjacent cold and warm rooms, viral suites, tissue culture rooms, lab benches and hoods, and other equipment and furniture.

 

UC's Board of Regents approved the lease proposal in November, and the Department of Energy, which runs LBNL, approved it in February. Negotiations between the two organizations and the property's owner, Wareham Development, concluded last week.

 

Terms of the lease agreement were not disclosed, but an LBNL spokesman told GenomeWeb News that the lease was effective, retroactively, as of last month, and will run through June 2010.

 

The initial five-year term of the lease includes options to renew for up to 20 years, but LBNL said in a statement that its tenure "will depend upon the progress of capital projects on the Hill."

 

Scientists from LBNL's Life Science and Physical Bioscience departments will occupy most of the second floor of the facility.

 

The move to off-site lab space was driven by "unprecedented growth in biology programs at both institutions and their inability to provide quality research space for those programs," LBNL said. These space limitations "have restricted researchers' ability to be competitive for new grants, recruit and retain quality scientists, and conduct work sponsored by both DOE and the National Institutes of Health."

 

The

Potter St
center will house LBNL's synthetic biology department, as well as its programs in biological and environmental research, including Genome: GTL projects, low-dose radiation, DNA repair, and functional genomics research.

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