Biomolecular Engineering Research

The Department of Biomolecular Engineering is an interdisciplinary department that combines expertise from Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Engineering to train students and develop technologies to address major problems at the forefront of biomedical and bio-industrial research. Students trained in the Department of Biomolecular Engineering can look forward to careers in Academia, the Information and Biotechnology Industries, Public Health, or Medical Sciences.

Labs & Research Groups

Biosensor & Biotechnology Group

Principal Investigator: Nader Pourmand

The Biosensor & Biotechnology Group focuses on developing new tools and technologies to integrate biology, electronics, and nanofabrication for the detection and study of genes and proteins. Read More>>

Brooks Lab

brooks logo

Principal Investigator: Angela Brooks

The Brooks Lab focuses on the study of mutations that cause changes to the transcriptome, particularly through mRNA splicing. We are developing computational approaches to analyze sequencing data and developing high-throughput experimental approaches to characterize the functional impact of cancer variants. Read More>>

Corbett-Detig Lab

Principal Investigator: Russ Corbett-Detig

The Corbett-Detig Lab's research focuses on addressing longstanding questions in evolutionary genetics often through developing novel bioinformatic and genomic methods. Read More>>

Computational Genomics Lab

Principal Investigators: Benedict Paten & David Haussler

The Computational Genomics Lab (CGL) is a joint venture within the UCSC Genomics Institute, and focuses on building technology to connect the institutional silos where genome information is now isolated. Read More>>

DuBois Lab

Principal Investigator: Rebecca DuBois

The DuBois Lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of virus infections, and to use this information to develop new vaccines and antiviral therapeutics. One major part of our lab is focused on how viruses enter human cells and how the immune system “neutralizes” viruses and blocks their cell entry. Another part of our lab is focused on how viruses replicate in human cells and how small molecule therapeutics can block this activity. Read More>>

Forsberg Labs

Principal Investigator: Camilla Forsberg

The Forsberg lab focuses on stem cell fate decisions of the blood system. Ultimately, we want to understand the molecular determinants of stem cell fate decisions so that we can prevent and treat both genetic and acquired disorders of the hematopoietic system, including anemia, autoimmune disease, leukemias and lymphomas. Read More>>

Genome 10K

Principal Investigator: David Haussler

Genome 10K is part of the Vertebrate Genomes Project. It looks to sequence the genome of at least one individual from each vertebrate genus (approximately 10,000 genomes) to understand vertebrate evolution and to save dying species.Read More>>

Genome Bioinformatics Group

Principal Investigators: Jim Kent & David Haussler

The Genome Bioinformatics Group maintains the UCSC Genome Browser, a broad collection of vertebrate and model organism genomes that includes a large suite of tools for viewing, analyzing, and downloading data.Read More>>

Haussler Lab

Principal Investigator: David Haussler

The Haussler Lab's innovates statistical and algorithmic methods to accelerate our understanding of cancer, human development, evolution, and several other areas of active research.Read More>>

Human Paleogenomics Lab

Principal Investigators: Lars-Fehren Schmitz with Richard Green & Beth Shapiro

The Human Paleogenomics Lab is a subsection of the Paleogenomics Lab, looking at the twin forces of culture and biology in shaping human genomic diversity, demography, and health. Read More>>


Kim Stem Cell Lab

Principal Investigator: Daniel H. Kim

The Kim Lab investigates noncoding RNA "dark matter" in stem cells and cancer. By discovering their roles, we aim to develop RNA-based precision medicine approaches for the early detection and treatment of cancer. Read More>>

Lowe Lab

Principal Investigator: Todd Lowe

The Lowe Lab's research focuses on noncoding RNA genes to study the unique biology of archaeal "extremophiles", microbes that live at the edge of the limits of life (e.g. high/low temperature, salt, pressure). Read More>>

Nanopore Group


Principal Investigators: Mark Akeson & David Deamer

Nanopore technology is emerging as one of the leading contenders for next generation sequencing. The Nanopore Group's research is focused on the use of nanopore detectors - instruments built around a nano-scale pore in a thin membrane, for the study of biopolymers. Read More>>

Paleogenomics Lab

Principal Investigators: Richard Green & Beth Shapiro

The Paleogenomics Lab focuses on a wide range of evolutionary and ecological questions, mostly involving the application of genomics techniques to better understand how species and populations evolve through time. Our interests are broad, spanning human evolution, ancient DNA, genome assembly and analysis, pathogen evolution, population genetics, conservation genomics, and the genomic consequences of long-term environmental change. Read More>>

Pourmand Bionanotech Lab

Principal Investigator: Nader Pourmand

The Pourmand Lab focuses on the invention of technologies that sensitively analyze label-free DNA and protein in a portable format for a wide variety of applications.Read More>>

Shariati Lab

Principal Investigator: Ali Shariati

The Shariati Lab examines how cell division and differentiation are linked in stem cells, particularly molecular feedback regulation and single cell dynamics of lineage differentiation. Read More>>

Systems Biology Group (Stuart Lab)

Principal Investigator: Josh Stuart

The Stuart Lab uses data-driven approaches to identify and characterize genetic networks, investigate how they've evolved, and then use them to simulate and predict cellular behavior. Read More>>

Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative

Principal Investigators: Olena Morozova-Vaske & David Haussler

Treehouse research centers on developing tools to analyze each patient's tumor in the context of genomic data collected from thousands of pediatric and adult tumors to help identify targeted treatments. Read More>>

Vollmers Lab

Principal Investigator: Christopher Vollmers

The Vollmers Lab's research focuses on DNA sequencing tools to analyze B cells on a population and single-cell level. Read More>>

Centers & Institutes

California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)

Scientific Director: Ed Green

QB3 unites quantitative, biological, biomedical, and structural scientists at three University of California campuses — Berkeley, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz — with private industry collaborators to address problems concerning human health. QB3 aims to harness the quantitative sciences to integrate our understanding of biological systems at all levels of complexity — from atoms and protein molecules to cells, tissues, organs, and the entire organism.Read More>>

Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering (CBSE)

Leadership Team:

The Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering (CBSE) promotes and supports genomic and stem cell research, technology innovation, and education. An umbrella organization of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering and the Division of Physical & Biological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the center supports a vast array of biological and engineering research that is fueling biomedical advances and the biotechnology explosion.

Genomics Institute

Leadership Team: Isabel Bjork, Robert Currie, David Haussler, Ann Pace, Benedict Paten, Beth Shapiro, & Josh Stuart

The Genomics Institute creates advanced technologies and open-source genomics platforms to unravel evolutionary patterns, molecular processes, and the underpinnings of a disease. GI leads a variety of efforts and houses multiple labs and research groups. Read More>>


Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC)

Executive Committee: Lindsay Hinck, Camilla Forsberg, Sofie Salama, & Zhu Wang

The Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC) at UC Santa Cruz aims to support and advance stem cell research by promoting interdisciplinary discoveries in biology, engineering, and information science to enable cures. Read More>>

W. M. Keck Center for Nanoscale Optofluidics

Faculty Team: Holger Schmidt, Mark Akeson, David Deamer, Ali Yanik, Harry Noller, & Jin Zhang

The W. M. Keck Center for Nanoscale Optofluidics mission is the development of optofluidic devices and their application to single particle studies in molecular biology and biomedical diagnostics. The Center brings together an interdisciplinary mix of six research groups from five departments at UC Santa Cruz.Read More>>

Brandon Saint-John discusses his research involving chromatin.

Gabriel Byrne presents his research as part of the UC Grad Slam.

Paloma Medina discusses her research involving Wolbachia.