Research Centers

This campus is home to dozens of exciting research centers and institutes where cutting-edge research is being conducted and new initiatives are being launched every year. Students and faculty in the College of Letters & Science have access to laboratories, libraries, and other resources that help make Berkeley the premier research university in the world.

Recent Initiatives

A number of new or soon-to-be-launched centers and initiatives have the potential to revolutionize knowledge and put Berkeley at the center of scientific innovation. These include three partnerships between UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Ernest O. Lawrence, Berkeley’s first Nobel Prize winner, was able to make his historic contributions to science because he understood that scientific and technological advancement are best achieved by pooling the talents of experts from a multitude of disciplines. Today at Berkeley, this spirit of collaboration is exemplified by the many new initiatives and research centers that harness the strength of Berkeley scholars and scientists, who in turn collaborate with their counterparts at institutions worldwide.

The biosciences are a perfect example of this approach, having undergone unprecedented change in recent years. This metamorphosis was triggered by the mapping in 2000 of the human genome. Post-genomic biology — exemplified by the Functional Genomics Laboratory and the California Biodiversity Center  — now involves biologists, chemists, physicists, statisticians, computer scientists, bioengineers, and chemical engineers.

Prominent Research Centers

The Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute: Berkeley led the world into the nanoscience age with visionary leadership from physicists, chemists, and engineers who conducted pioneering work in fields such as carbon nanotubes, nanocrystalline properties, and energy conversion.

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), which involves more than 100 faculty members in engineering, science, social science, and other disciplines at four UC campuses.

The California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3): A partnership between three UC campuses and private industry, QB3 was established in 2000 to ensure the future of the California economy by promoting research and innovation that will promote health benefits to society. 

The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities: Established in 1987 to promote research and ongoing conversation among and within academic disciplines, The Townsend Center supports more than 60 interdisciplinary working groups on topics ranging from the Silk Road to black literary discourse, and from the history of transportation planning to new music.

The Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC) is a multi-institution research facilty that will focus on the emerging discipline of synthetic biology. This field offers enormous potential to solve a wide range of problems in human health, industrial processes, and renewable energy and the environment.

The Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society brings together a diverse community of scholars studying the origins, growth, and consequences of scientific and technological knowledge and practice. Its members include affiliates from the social sciences, the humanistic disciplines, and professional and public policy fields.

The Center for New Media: Established in 2004, the Center for New Media is dedicated to exploring the impact of digital media on people and society. Its foundations are in the campus's humanities and professional schools and its goal is to bring a combination of historical and contemporary thinking to the digital revolution. 

Centers and Facilities by Area of Interest


Arts & Humanities

Berkeley Language Center
The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities
Performance, Teaching, & Research Facilities for Music
Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center
Center for New Music & Audio Technologies
Arts Research Center 

Biological Sciences

Cancer Research Laboratory
Biodynamics Education and Research Center
Electron Microscope Laboratory
Neuroscience Institute
Functional Genomics Laboratory
Center for Integrative Genomics
UC Botanical Garden
Museum of Paleontology
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University and Jepson Herbaria

Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute
Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics
Integrated Physical Sciences Complex
Astronomy Computing Facility
Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center
Center for Integrative Planetary Science
Radio Astronomy Laboratory
Berkeley Seismological Laboratory
Statistics Laboratory
Theoretical Astrophysics Center
Space Sciences Laboratory

Social Sciences

Archaeological Research Facility
Beatrice Bain M. Research Group
Center for the Study of Sexual Culture
Field Station for the Research of Animal Behavior
Geography Computing Facility
Hearst Museum of Anthropology
Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Institute of Governmental Studies
Institute of Human Development
Office of History of Science and Technology