Research Areas - Interdisciplinary Organizations
A number of faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry participate in interdisciplinary organizations. These organizations bring researchers from different departments together, provide administrative support and space for professional researchers, house specialized instrumentation with supporting technical staff, conduct targeted seminar programs, and administer research grants.
The interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering (BMSE) offers advanced graduate degrees and trains students for leadership positions in the rapidly expanding fields represented by two parallel curricular tracks: 1) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and 2) Bioengineering and Biomolecular Materials. Our department has strong ties to BMSE. This combination provides a rich intellectual environment for interdisciplinary research in physical and chemical approaches to biological problems. Students and faculty from both programs collaborate and intermingle frequently in research labs, courses, and seminars. Students interested in studying topics related to biology through our department are encouraged to also explore the course offerings, seminar series, and faculty affiliated with BMSE.
The MRL at the University of California, Santa Barbara, was established in September 1992 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and became an NSF Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) in 1996. The MRL is housed in a dedicated building.The MRL continues to be supported by the MRSEC Program of the NSF at the present time. The scientific research and engineering activities of the MRL is centered around major interdisciplinary research groups focusing on supra- and macromolecular materials, biomimetic materials, oxides as semiconductors, soft cellular materials and nanostructured materials by molecular beam epitaxy. The MRL also encompasses the complex fluids design consortium that brings together UCSB faculty with researchers from industry and national laboratories interested in the computational design and processing behavior of soft materials and complex fluids.
ITST started out as the Quantum Institute, that was established in 1969 for interdisciplinary research involving Chemistry and Physics. Current research areas include nanostructured magnets, quantum electronic structures, liquid crystals, complex fluids, superfluids, superconductors, pattern formation during, strongly driven molecular systems, as well as protein structure, protein dynamics and membrane systems. While time scales for these phenomena vary from hours and days to femtoseconds, extensive common ground is found in non-linear condensed matter physics. This interdisciplinary institute went through a reorganization of its goal and focus, with the mission of the ITST being to advance science and technology at the heart of the electromagnetic spectrum while training and inspiring new generations of scientists, engineers, and the public at large and supporting research with outstanding service in a warm, welcoming and fun workplace. Most recently, the ITST has been the driver and center in which innovative and unique instrumentation has been developed and housed. This includes a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) with ~100 dB dynamic range to measure absorption and refraction between 70-700 GHz, time domain THz spectrometer, THz absorption spectrometer, UCSB's free electron lasers (FELs), the world's brightest sources of tunable radiation between 0.1 and 5 THz, and the FEL-powered electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and lower power EPR spectrometers at high 240 GHz frequencies.
The University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of California at Los Angeles have joined to build the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) which will facilitate a multidisciplinary approach to develop the information, biomedical and manufacturing technologies that will dominate science and economy in the 21st century. The vision of the CNSI is to establish a coherent and distinctive organization that serves California and the nation, and that is embedded on the UCSB and UCLA campuses. The CNSI will be a world-class intellectual and physical environment, a collaborative center that will generate ideas, discoveries and the talent that will continue to fuel innovation in Nanosystems.CNSI's mission is to create the collaborative, closely-integrated and strongly interactive environment that will foster innovation in nanosystems research and education. Nanosystems research is widely defined, encompassing biology and biomedical sciences, energy efficiency and information technologies. The CNSI hosts a wide range of education and outreach activities, involving K-12, undergraduate and graduate students to postdoctoral scholars.
Marine Science Institute (MSI)
MSI was established in 1969 and is the largest institute in terms of members, money administered and square footage at UCSB. It is the focus for marine, coastal zone, and freshwater research and marine policy studies. Researchers from chemical, biological and geological sciences participate. MSI will be housed in a new dedicated building in year 2004.
ITP was established at UCSB in 1979 by action of the National Science Foundation and the Regents of the University of California. ITP considers problems that by their nature are best analyzed by a group of expert theoreticians. A large number of short- and long-term distinguished visitors are attracted to the institute each year. ITP is housed in a dedicated building.
CPOS draws together scientific expertise in physics and chemistry to do fundamental research on a new class of materials - organic compounds capable of conducting electricity. This institute aids both experimental and theoretical studies on some unusual and highly promising new materials. CPOS is housed in the Chemistry Building. One of the CPOS members, Alan Heeger (also of the Department of Physics), was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on conducting polymers.
NRI studies normal and abnormal functions of the nervous system using cellular and molecular approaches. Focus is on visual neuroscience, degenerative diseases, neural regeneration, cellular signaling, the cell cycle and cytoskeleton, mechanisms of ion channel function and synaptic transmission. Researchers from chemical, biological and psychological sciences participate. NRI occupies the top two floors of the Biological Sciences II building.
PIRE-ECCI focuses on Electron Chemistry and Catalysis at Interfaces (PIRE-ECCI) and will provide American and Chinese students with an enriching global experience in interdisciplinary research spanning the fields of heterogeneous catalysis, surface science and chemical dynamics at interfaces.
The Center for BioEngineering (CBE) is a hub for research and teaching at the interface of biology, engineering and physical sciences. It builds on UC Santa Barbara’s strengths in biophysics, biomaterials, biomolecular discovery, and computational and experimental systems biology, enabling fundamental scientific discoveries to be transitioned to applications in medicine and biotechnology.