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PNNL scientist receives Early Career Research Award

$2.5-million grant will aid biofuel research

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May 14, 2012 Share This!

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RICHLAND, Wash. — A bioinformaticist from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will receive an Early Career Research Award from DOE to advance his research identifying proteins that could be used in biofuel production. PNNL's Sam Payne will receive a grant totaling $2.5 million over five years.

Payne will use the grant to develop algorithms to find specific patterns in the large amount of data generated by scientific instruments called mass spectrometers. The patterns Payne is looking for help identify proteins in complex samples of bacteria.  He will use the grant to focus on bacterial communities that help cows digest plants. Better understanding how bacteria use proteins to degrade plants can improve biofuel production.

Payne is among 68 researchers who were selected this year from a pool of about 850 proposals.

The Early Career Research Program is designed to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early years, when many scientists do their most formative work. The program is funded by DOE's Office of Science.
To be eligible for an award, a researcher must have earned a doctorate within the past 10 years and be an untenured, tenure-track assistant or associate professor at a U.S. academic institution or a full-time employee at a DOE national laboratory.
For more information about the program and the research it supports, go to the Early Career Research Program website.

Tags: Energy, Awards and Honors, Biofuel

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