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Research Institutes and Centers


California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)

QB3 is a multi-disciplinary research institute at the University of California armed with world-class researchers, state-of-the-art facilities, and a set of entrepreneurial resources designed to accelerate discovery and innovation that benefit society. One of four California Institutes for Science and Innovation, QB3 unites quantitative, biological, and structural scientists at three UC campuses—Berkeley, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz—with private industry collaborators to address problems concerning human health and the environment. QB3 harnesses 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. At UC Santa Cruz, QB3 is a part of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering.

Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC)

Stem cell research at UCSC focuses on the basic biological systems operating in the processes of self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells. The Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC) at UC Santa Cruz encompasses research, training, and facilities to support this work. The institute was made possible by the high quality of biological and engineering research on the UCSC campus and by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which in September 2005 approved funding for UCSC to establish a training program in stem cell research. Funding from CIRM also made possible the UCSC Shared Stem Cell Facility, and other major projects that have supported stem cell research on this campus, such as a major facility award that funded the IBSC space in the new Biomedical Sciences Building. The institute is administered through the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering.

UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute provides the framework for the next great leap in the science of genomics. Building on three decades of pioneering genomics research at UC Santa Cruz, the institute unites the university’s efforts that empower the global scientific community to develop breakthroughs in health and evolutionary biology. The institute is building an open-source genomics platform for unlocking the most challenging medical and scientific issues of our time, from decoding cancer to species preservation. This builds on our success with the UCSC Genome Browser, a resource used by more than 130,000 researchers worldwide. The UCSC Genome Browser currently receives more than 1.2 million web page requests a day and is cited in 14,000 scientific publications each year. The institute leads the national and international effort to break down institutional silos where genomic information is now isolated, enables the secure sharing and analysis of genomic data on a global open-source platform, and addresses the bioethical and privacy issues that advances in genomics create for patients, families, physicians, counselors, business, and government.


Center for Computational Experience

The Center for Computational Experience is an interdisciplinary research center focused on human computer interaction and technology for games and play. Our world-class research faculty combine expertise in engineering, social science, arts, humanities, and design. We draw upon the unique strengths and sensibilities of UC Santa Cruz – a deep concern for wellbeing and social good, closeness to and respect for the natural world, and technological skill (with Silicon Valley less than an hour away).

Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

CITRIS was created to “shorten the pipeline” between world-class laboratory research and the creation of start-ups, larger companies, and whole industries. CITRIS Santa Cruz facilitates partnerships and collaborations among more than 58 faculty members and dozens of students from numerous departments with industrial researchers from over 60 corporations. Together, the groups are thinking about information technology in ways it’s never been thought of before.

Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS)

Bridging the gap between student research and open source projects, the Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS) provides funding to work on innovative projects after graduation. CROSS facilitates a smart way to finance open source software, and is conscious of the abilities students have to create innovative software and encourages this innovation after graduation. UCSC created CROSS as a center that assists students with their research prototypes to collaborate with open source communities and companies.

Center for Research in Systems and Storage (CRSS)

Center for Research in Systems and Storage (CRSS) is a partnership between universities and industry, featuring high-quality, industrially relevant fundamental research, strong industrial support of collaboration in research and education, and direct transfer of university developed ideas, research results, and technology to U.S. industry to improve its competitive posture in world markets. Through innovative education of talented graduate and undergraduate students, CRSS is providing the next generation of scientists and engineers with a broad, industrially oriented perspective on engineering research and practice.

Cyber-Physical Systems Research Center

The Cyber-Physical Systems Research Center (CPSRC) facilitates collaborative research activities between UC Santa Cruz and academic and industrial partners on key cyber-physical systems topics. We foster novel foundational and applied research to support applications such as smart cities and buildings, power grids, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and connected health.

W. M. Keck Center For Nanoscale Optofluidics

The W.M. Keck Center for Nanoscale Optofluidics brings together an interdisciplinary mix of six research groups from five departments at UC Santa Cruz to focus on the development of optofluidic devices and their application to single particle studies in molecular biology and biomedical diagnostics. Optofluidics is the combination of both integrated optical and fluidic components in the same miniaturized system, and the functionalities of optofluidic systems can be improved and expanded by addition of nanoscale features. The W.M. Keck Nanofabrication facility provides unique capabilities for creating this new type of integrated devices, including a state-of-the-art dual electron/ion beam microscope for nanoscale characterization and fabrication. Members of the UCSC community may contact the center for more information regarding use of the facilities, including staff assistance and user training on the dual beam microscope.