Sharlene Weatherwax

Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research

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Sharlene Weatherwax

Dr. Weatherwax is the Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research (BER) within the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the principal federal funding agency of the Nation’s research programs in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, fusion energy sciences, materials and chemical sciences biological and environmental sciences, and computing sciences. She previously served as the Division Director for the Biological Systems Science Division of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research.‪

Dr. Weatherwax came to DOE in 1999 to manage the Energy Biosciences Program in the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. In 2005, she joined the Office of Biological and Environmental Research as a program manager and contributed to the development of the Genomic Science strategic plan. In 2005, Dr. Weatherwax co-organized a joint workshop with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, resulting in the DOE bioenergy roadmap from fundamental to applied research entitled “Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol.” This led to the competitive, merit-reviewed establishment of three Office of Science Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) to provide critical science and technology solutions for our energy needs. Dr. Weatherwax has managed the three BRCs, multidisciplinary partnerships between national laboratories, academic and industrial research institutions. She has participated in a number of interagency activities and is a co-chair of the NSTC Subcommittee on Life Sciences. She established the joint USDA-DOE Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy program for genomics-based research leading to the improved use of biomass and plant feedstocks for the production of biofuels or renewable chemical feedstocks. Under her leadership, BER is establishing the Genomic Science Systems Biology Knowledgebase, a cyber infrastructure to support collaborative research in systems biology in the areas of microbial, plant and metacommunities.‪

Dr. Weatherwax received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley for research on the molecular genetics of allosteric enzymes. She was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Biology at the University of California at Los Angeles. Her independent research includes the study of light- and hormone-regulated plant gene expression. She is a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists and the American Society for Microbiology.‪

With an annual budget of more than $600 million, the Office of Biological and Environmental Research is the nation’s leading supporter of fundamental research and facilities for energy, climate, and the environment. The Biological and Environment Research (BER) program mission is to understand complex biological, climatic, and environmental systems across spatial and temporal scales ranging from sub-micron to global, from individual molecules to ecosystems, and from nanoseconds to millennia. This is accomplished by exploring the frontiers of genome-enabled biology; discovering the physical, chemical, and biological drivers of climate change; and seeking the geochemical, hydrological, and biological determinants of environmental sustainability and stewardship.‪

As head of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Dr. Weatherwax will serve as one of the Associate Directors of the Office of Science. She will be responsible for strategic program planning, budget formulation and execution, program integration with other Office of Science activities and with the DOE technology offices, and interagency integration.

Contact Information
Dr. Sharlene C. Weatherwax
Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research
SC-23/Germantown Building
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585-1290
Phone: 301/903-3251
Fax: 301/903-5051

Last modified: 3/5/2016 8:04:41 PM