Physical Biosciences

This program supports basic research combining experimental and computational tools to investigate the chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology of the energy capture, conversion, and storage in natural systems. A broad fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of energy transduction across multiple scales is sought. Examples include (but are not limited to) establishing a molecular level understanding of enzyme active sites and metallocluster chemistry, the biochemistry of energy flow through metabolic pathways, and the biochemical and biophysical principles determining the architecture of biopolymers and the plant cell wall.

Supported research seeks to establish the foundational knowledge to enable clean energy and critical materials based on biological processes. Biological energy capture, conversion and storage represent unique chemistry and structure-function relationships with impacts on numerous DOE interests. A multidimensional mechanistic understanding of bioenergetic processes can provide the basis for the design and creation of highly selective energy conversion/storage devices, efficient bioinspired catalysts, bio-hybrid systems, and the controlled biosynthesis of chemicals and fuels through metabolic control of cellular energy flow.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart and budget request.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Kate Brown.