WALNUT CREEK, CA–The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) has secured a five-year extension on its lease with an option for an additional five years. The University of California Regents have signed off on a deal with landlord Hall Equities Group that will ensure DOE JGI’s long-term presence in the community of Walnut Creek, situated halfway between its parent facilities, Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. The new lease enables DOE JGI to expand the current facility on its Walnut Creek campus to include a vacant 18,000-square-foot building, which will be renovated and opened in the first quarter of 2008. This addition will serve to consolidate administrative and informatics staff and feature a new education outreach laboratory, bringing DOE JGI’s total footprint to 80,000 square feet.
“We are delighted to be able to extend our stay here in Walnut Creek,” said DOE JGI Director Eddy Rubin. “We have grown considerably over the last ten years as we have transitioned from determining the DNA code for the human genome to a national user facility for the DNA sequencing of many different important organisms. Our goal is to sustain our leadership in providing the information that will advance the nation’s interests in developing renewable sources of clean energy, tracking the fate of carbon in our atmosphere, and restoring our environment.”
“Walnut Creek is proud to be home to one of the world’s leading DNA sequencing centers in the DOE Joint Genome Institute,” said Susan Rainey, Mayor of the City of Walnut Creek, Calif. “In our very own backyard, we can lay claim to having a world-class scientific resource, one first involved in sequencing the human genome, then the first tree genome, and now characterizing other plants and microbes that will play a major role in improving our energy future. In addition, DOE JGI researchers are serving to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through the thousands of local high school students who have toured the facility over the years. We look forward to building on this productive community partnership for at least the next decade.”
Founded as a virtual institute in 1997, DOE JGI opened the doors of the Production Genomics Facility in its present location in 1999. The first phase of the new lease will extend through 2013 with the option to run until 2018. The current DOE JGI staff of 240 University of California employees includes biologists, computer scientists, engineers, and support staff.
The DOE Joint Genome Institute, supported by the DOE Office of Science, unites the expertise of five national laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest, along with the Stanford Human Genome Center to advance genomics in support of the DOE mission related to clean energy generation and environmental characterization and clean-up. DOE JGI’s Walnut Creek, Calif. Production Genomics Facility provides integrated high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis that enable systems-based scientific approaches to these challenges.