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a National Science Foundation Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology
Biomolecular Machines
Proteins are true cellular nanomachines that perform sophisticated biological functions by self-assembling into dynamic 3D structures that use thermal energy to change shape in response to specific...
Macromolecular Assemblies and Hybrid Devices
The high rate of discovery in nanotechnology is permitting us to realize nanomaterials with interesting new properties that can be used for building hybrid devices in conjunction with biomolecules.
Cellular and Multicellular Systems
Differentiating Tissue: This sub-project is a targeted effort to understand, quantify, and direct cell-to-cell and mechanical signaling in differentiating stem cell populations.
Lab Experience for High School and Undergraduate Level Students
biophysics, bioengineering & biochemistry
Science & Technology Enrichment Program
creating an infrastructure that enables research opportunities for high school students

CCBM Highlights

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The NSF CREST Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines was established with a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation and brings together more than a dozen faculty members from multiple units across campus, including bioengineering, physics, chemistry and chemical biology, materials science and engineering. Researchers are studying how biological matter like proteins or cells come together to perform specific tasks, in hopes of eventually being able to engineer and develop innovations ranging from designer cells and tissue to novel diagnostic and therapeutic devices. The CCBM also hosts an integrated, interdisciplinary training program for graduate students that emphasizes physical and biological components and research and training experiences for undergraduate and high school students to enhance the recruitment of underrepresented groups into STEM research.

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physics, bioengineering, materials science, quantitative biology, applied mathematics, chemistry and chemical biology forming a diverse, interdisciplinary research community with a common vision


nurturing teamwork, creativity, versatility and entrepreneurship for undergraduate and graduate students with a special emphasis on technical training 


K-12 programs focused on increasing the number and diversity of talented students in STEM fields & other special community-focused efforts

Featured News

February 22, 2021

Professor Andy LiWang is now the first from UC Merced to be elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Colleagues at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Texas A&M University...

February 2, 2021

Bioengineering Professor Arvind Gopinath received a CAREER award for his research that seeks to understand how living biological materials such as bacterial swarms and fungal biofilms colonize...

January 14, 2021

Two new projects designed and led by UC Merced researchers will address challenges facing many Californians — wildfire recovery and agricultural labor — but will also have global reach. Both are...

January 14, 2021
Physics professors Ajay Gopinathan and Linda Hirst and Chemistry Professor Michael Colvin are working on the UC Coronavirus Assembly Research Consortium, with Gopinathan as the co-PI. To understand...

Events and Happenings

"The objective of the HBCU‐UP/CREST PI-PD Meeting is to provide Principal Investigators, Project Directors, and others with an...
"An Interview with Dr. Ken Caldeira" on Climate Change Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 10:00 - 11:00 am Pacific Dr....
Hosted by the NSF-CREST Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines at the University of California, Merced   -Open to ALL    ...
The annual Open House and EAB Meeting showcases the center's research, education, and outreach efforts at UC Merced. Highlights include a keynote...