Genomic Science Program
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Biological and Environmental Research Program

Genomic Science Program Overview Brochure


Genomic Science Program Overview Brochure Large


Understanding the instructions for life encoded in the DNA sequence, or genome, of natural systems offers a wealth of potential for advancing biological solutions to many of today’s energy and environmental challenges. To harness this potential, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Genomic Science program supports fundamental research to understand the systems biology of plants and microbes as they respond to and modify their local environments. Systems biology is the holistic, multidisciplinary study of complex inter- actions that specify the function of an entire biological system— whether single cells or multicellular organisms—synthesizing decades of reductionist studies that identified and characterized individual components.

As a leader in systems biology research, the Genomic Science program uses genome sequences as the blueprint for understanding the common principles that govern living systems. Knowledge of these common principles revealed by studying organisms relevant to one DOE mission facilitates breakthroughs in the basic biology important to other DOE and national needs.

By examining the translation of genetic codes into functional proteins, biomolecular complexes, metabolic pathways, and regulatory networks, Genomic Science research focuses on the grand challenge of developing a mechanistic, predictive understanding of plant and microbial system behavior across a range of scales, from genes to small ecosystems. Scientific insights achieved in pursuit of this challenge will enable, for example, the design and re-engineering of plants and microbes for DOE missions in sustainable advanced biofuels and bioproducts, improved carbon storage capabilities, and controlled biological transformation of materials such as nutrients and contaminants in the environment.