Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are launching three research projects as part of DOE’s Biopreparedness Research Virtual Environment (BRaVE) initiative, which supports national biopreparedness and response capabilities that can be advanced with DOE’s distinctive capabilities.
The Berkeley Lab projects, which are among 10 BRaVE projects announced by the DOE on Sept. 7, leverage bioimaging expertise to develop better therapies and vaccines for viruses, develop a high-throughput platform to rapidly design countermeasures to drug-resistant pathogens, and enhance a generalized tool for epidemiology and ensure that it will be flexible enough to rapidly incorporate new diseases.
BRaVE builds on the success of DOE’s National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory (NVBL) that contributed to the fight against COVID-19. During the pandemic, the DOE research helped to understand the spread of the virus, delivered manufacturing solutions to stem the shortages of supplies, developed new virus testing protocols, and identified potential candidates for antiviral drugs. The DOE also opened its user facilities for research on the virus’ structure and data from these facilities supported the development of all three FDA-approved vaccines, as well as antiviral drugs and antibodies. Berkeley Lab has conducted a wide range of research as part of this effort.