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.
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).
- The Energy Biosciences Institute conducts research on biotechnology to produce biofuels and lead to a secure and sustainable energy future.
- The Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics, whose founding director is Nobel Laureate George Smoot, will enhance our understanding of the origins and evolution of the Universe.
- The Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases brings unparalleled resources to cutting-edge research to solve global health challenges that have been neglected by markets.
- The Computational Research and Theory Facility is a supercomputing center that fosters open interaction between campus professors, students, and scientists at LBNL.
- The Center for Interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research (CiBER) brings together biologists, engineers, and others to study how organisms work and move in their natural habitats.
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
- 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
- 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