Life Sciences

The Physical and Life Sciences Directorate (PLS) supports the Laboratory's science, technological, and programmatic missions in life sciences. The directorate contributes to the rapidly expanding science of biology in areas relevant to important challenges in national security, environmental sustainability, and human health. Integrating bioscience and biotechnology, we perform research in the areas of genome biology, computational biology, molecular toxicology, host-pathogen biology, biochemical structures, assays, genetics and microbial systems, and the intersection of these areas with advances in nanotechnology, and imaging and measurement science.

We work in partnership with LLNL's Global Security Directorate to develop instrumentation to detect biothreat agents at low concentrations in the environment, rapid assays for the detection of disease, and new approaches in bioforensics.

The Biosciences and Biotechnology Division oversees the directorate's life sciences work.

Scientific Frontiers

Biosecurity Sensing and Analysis


Genome Biology

Molecular Toxicology


Science at the Intersection of Physics, Chemistry, Materials, Atmospheric, Earth, and Life Sciences

PLS also conducts a broad range of science at the intersection of multiple disciplines. PLS conducts work in the areas of sensing and analysis; theory, modeling, and computation; ultrafast science; host-pathogen biology; bioanalysis; and assay development and implementation.

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One of Lawrence Livermore's emerging missions is to provide the nation with scientific capabilities for defense against biological threats and natural disease outbreaks. Our scientists continue to apply their expertise in materials and analytical methods to develop platforms for chemical and bioagent detection.

2011 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UC Davis Cancer Center Retreat

Since 2000, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the UC Davis Cancer Center (UCDCC) have collaborated on cancer-related projects of common interest. As a means to continue interactions and to facilitate new partnerships, LLNL and the UCDCC held a one-day retreat at Wente Vineyards on Monday, October 17th, 2011.