Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Billy Stair ()
Communications and External Relations


Governor's proposed budget includes $7.6 million for ORNL-UT Joint Institute for Biological Sciences

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 3, 2004 — Funding for the Joint Institute for Biological Sciences, a research collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, is included in Gov. Phil Bredesen's proposed 2005 budget released Monday evening.

Gov. Bredesen's budget requests $7.6 million to construct the biomedical research facility on the ORNL campus. The state provided $400,000 for design of the facility in the current year's budget.

Research conducted at the biological sciences facility would explore research and development and technologies related to DOE's Genomes to Life program, particularly in the fields of functional genomics, structural biology and computational biology. Major joint institute programs include support for the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium of eight state research institutions and a graduate studies program of genome science and technology.

ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth thanked Gov. Bredesen for his proposed investment in ORNL. Wadsworth said the project has been a bipartisan effort of Sen. Tommy Kilby (D-Wartburg), Sen. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), Rep. Dennis Ferguson (D-Kingston) and Rep. Jim Hackworth (D-Clinton).

The state-funded biological sciences facility will be part of an ORNL competitive bid to locate a federally funded $280 million Genomes to Life facility at ORNL. The Genomes to Life facility was included in the DOE Office of Science 20-year facilities plan released last fall.

The Joint Institute for Biological Sciences is one of three ORNL-UT joint institutes being formed as part a growth campaign initiated by UT-Battelle, which manages ORNL for the Department of Energy.

In UT-Battelle's plan, the Genomes to Life facility and the state facility would be located near the Spallation Neutron Source, the neutron research facility currently under construction at ORNL and slated for completion in 2006.

Other emerging UT-ORNL collaborations include the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences and the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences. The state-funded Joint Institute for Computational Sciences is currently under construction at ORNL and will be completed by this summer.

ORNL is a multiprogram science and technology laboratory managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.