Paul Adams, who joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1999, has been appointed Associate Lab Director (ALD) for Biosciences. The appointment, which took effect Jan. 31, follows an international search. Adams had been serving as the interim ALD for the Biosciences Area since 2021.
Berkeley Lab’s Biosciences Area advances biological science relevant to national-scale challenges in energy, environment, health, biomanufacturing, and technology development.
“Over the past two decades, Paul has played an important role in helping shape Biosciences’ structural biology programs at the Advanced Light Source, and promoting Berkeley Lab’s leadership in structural biology nationally and internationally,” said Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell. “Paul is also the perfect person to advance the Lab’s vision for the deep integration of computing and data science with biology.”
“I am excited to continue to work with my colleagues in Biosciences and across Berkeley Lab to advance the Area’s goals and to help address some of our nation’s greatest scientific challenges,” said Adams. “My goals include advocating for greater integration with the computing sciences, which is becoming central to so many of our programs, placing an increased emphasis on IDEA principles, and extending our outreach to institutions serving groups that are underrepresented in STEM.”
Adams joined the Lab as a staff scientist to develop new software for macromolecular crystallography. He was promoted to senior scientist in 2005 and held several leadership positions in what was the Physical Biosciences Division, including Deputy Division Director and Head of the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology at the Advanced Light Source (ALS). During the Biosciences Area reorganization in 2015, Adams facilitated the creation of the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division and continued to serve as its Director for six years.
Adams is also the vice president for technology at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and laboratory research manager for the ENIGMA (Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies) Scientific Focus Area (SFA). He also leads a multi-institutional program that develops the Phenix software suite, which he established when he first joined Berkeley Lab and is used by structural biologists around the world to solve macromolecular structures.
Adams’ research encompasses multiple disciplines, with a core strength in structural biology, and integrates key aspects of the physical sciences and computing, which is becoming increasingly important in biosciences research. His work has garnered over 100,000 citations, many of which are for the Phenix software suite.
Adams received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and his B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Edinburgh. He also serves as a reviewer for many journals and on several advisory committees worldwide at national laboratories, data repositories, and light sources.