WASHINGTON—In eight months as presidential science adviser, William Graham has built a staff that has extensive defense and technical experience but few ties to the mainstream academic community.

His latest appointment is the Department of Energy's Beverly Berger, who took over April 1 as assistant director for life sciences in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She replaces Robert Rabin, who returned to the National Science Foundation after 18 months at OSTP to coordinate a new federal program to create several multimillion-dollar plant science centers.

Rabin, who has a Ph.D. in microbiology and biochemistry, was deputy assistant director for Biological, Behavioral and Social Sciences at NSF for 10 years. He has also worked for the National Institutes of Health, and has published extensively in the biochemical field. He is now a senior adviser for biotechnology under David Kingsbury.

Berger, who received a Ph.D. in population genetics from the...

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