Participating DOE Laboratories and Sites

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a DOE national laboratory operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

LLNL was founded in September 1952 as a nuclear weapons design laboratory to promote innovation in the design of our nation's nuclear stockpile through creative science and engineering. Since that time, LLNL has also become one of the world’s premier scientific centers, where cutting-edge science and engineering in the interest of national security is used to break new ground in other areas of national importance, including energy, biomedicine, and environmental science. LLNL maintains facilities for research and participates in joint research with universities, industries, and other national laboratories and government agencies.

Challenging scientific programs, world-class research facilities, and a collegial environment are critical to attracting and retaining an outstanding workforce. The laboratory will pursue state-of-the-art science and engineering to achieve breakthrough accomplishments in all of its major programs. The diversity of opportunities that exist at LLNL offers laboratory employees options for career changes and career growth.

The LLNL Institutional Review Board (LLNL IRB) was established in 1974 to provide institutional assurance that all research activities involving human participants were being conducted under internationally recognized ethical principles, in compliance with United States federal regulations, and in adherence to the policies of DOE, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the State of California, and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC. The LLNL IRB has the responsibility for identifying and reviewing all human research activities conducted by or involving LLNL employees to assure that the research is justifiable and that all human participants are protected from unnecessary harms and risks.

The LLNL IRB operates under general provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations and holds a DHHS FWA through OHRP. The LLNL IRB consists of volunteer scientific and nonscientific experts, including laboratory employees and Livermore Valley community members.

The protocols reviewed by the board consist of projects from directorates throughout the laboratory and include studies regarding biodefense, genomics, proteomics, mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, reproductive and developmental biology, and dietary protein and bone metabolism. Many of these studies are collaborative in nature, involving interactions with Principal Investigators (PIs) from various University of California campuses, as well as international collaborators. The board members’ unsurpassed devotion, expertise, and altruistic commitment to the IRB, to the laboratory, and to the protection of human subjects in research is greatly valued and sincerely appreciated.

Currently, a number of laboratory scientists are studying the relationship between an individual's genes and health risks from adverse environments. This research includes efforts to identify genes that determine individual susceptibility, to understand how the proteins that these genes encode might be involved in the disease process, and, finally, to estimate risk for disease based upon an individual’s genetic constitution and environmental exposure. These activities will draw upon LLNL's expertise in molecular genetics, as well as bioscience and bioengineering.

The laboratory aspires to use the information gleaned from these studies to enhance our nation's security, preserve our environment, and ensure a better quality of life. Its commitment is to anticipate and meet the nation's needs through the pursuit of innovative science and technology at a great national laboratory.

Also of note is the Former Worker Medical Surveillance Program conducted for interested former workers from LLNL and sponsored by the DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security (HS-15). The LLNL IRB conducts initial and ongoing reviews of medical screening protocols, informed consent forms, and informational materials for clarity and consistency.

Content reviewed: October 1, 2013