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JGI, Berkeley Lab's Biosciences to Relocate to Nearby Richmond

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's bioscience programs will be moved into a new location in Richmond, Calif., near Berkeley as part of a consolidation process, the University of California Berkeley said yesterday.

The University of California said it has chosen Richmond Field Station, a 152-acre site which was already owned by the university system, after a months-long process during which it seriously considered five other Bay Area sites to house the second campus.

Berkeley Lab is creating the new campus to pull together its bioscience programs, including the Joint Genome Institute and the Joint BioEnergy Institute, into one space that will house nearly 800 employees who will engage in life sciences studies focused on biofuels and health and provide research services such as the Community Sequencing Program.

As GenomeWeb Daily News reported late in 2011, other areas that were under consideration for the new site included Alameda Point in the city of Alameda; Berkeley Aquatic Park West, located in West Berkeley; Oakland's Brooklyn Basin; Emeryville/Berkeley, which includes properties currently occupied by LBNL; and Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley and Albany.

JGI conducts sequencing-based research and provides resources through several programs focused on bioenergy, fungal genomics, metagenomics, microbial genomics, plant genomics, and other 'omics technologies.

"Our [JGI facility] in Walnut Creek is the most productive sequencing center in the world by nearly every measure," Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos wrote in a posting on LBNL's website in July. "We are making outstanding strides in biofuels at the Joint BioEnergy Institute. Our Life Sciences program, primarily housed on Potter Street in Berkeley, brings the unique abilities of a national lab to areas of human health, and this rich interplay between the energy and health missions is a tremendous source of scientific strength in the biosciences at Berkeley Lab."

"Bringing together the successful but dispersed programs to a new campus also presents a tremendous opportunity for deeper collaboration and stronger Lab community," he wrote.

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