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Welcome to the Biosciences Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Our overall objective is to advance science and technology to better understand complex biological systems and their relationship with human health and the environment. We have significant expertise and special facilities in Mammalian Genetics and Genomics, Computational Biology, Biophysics and Biomedical Technologies, and Toxicology and Risk Analysis. We bring our collective expertise together with a number of ORNL-internal and external collaborators to focus on scientific challenges in modern biology. The division continues a 50-year legacy of important discoveries in Biology. Our programs are supported by a number of federal and non-federal agencies and institutions, such as the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several industrial partners.

We have three core areas of research that frame our objectives in advancing biological science:


Building on ORNL's strong tradition of biological research to address today's challenges. Capabilities include gene expression, proteomics, mutagenesis, microbial growth, protein interactions, imaging and analytical technologies, and computing and bioinformatics.


Meeting the energy requirements of tomorrow through fuel and chemical production and fossil fuel bioprocessing research. Capabilities include bioconversion science, multi-phase and nonaqueous biocatalysis, microbial strain development, and enzyme improvement.


Addressing a broad spectrum of issues from detection to treatment within a medical or environmental context. Research areas include toxicology, dosimetry, nanotechnology, biological imaging, laser technology, sensor development, and risk assessment.

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory is operated by UT-Battelle, LLC,
under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 for the U.S. Department of Energy.