Our faculty are founders or members of a number of interdisciplinary research centers and labs, which serve as nexuses between academia, industry and public research.

BioFrontiers Institute

The BioFrontiers Institute, formerly the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, was founded at the University of Colorado to:

  • Advance human health and welfare by exploring critical frontiers of unknown biology and translating new knowledge to practical applications.
  • Educate a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists, empowering them to work together to push the boundaries of human knowledge and reap its benefits.
  • Leverage and expand Colorado’s leadership in biotechnology and its promise for human advancement.

The BioFrontiers Institute is uniquely defined both by its excellent researchers and leadership, and by the scientific and geographical ecosystem that empowers their work.

The Institute is housed in the state-of-the-art Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on CU-Boulder’s East Campus. This new facility brings together the Initiative’s scientific passion and drive with the resources it takes to explore critical areas of unknown biology and translate that knowledge into applications that will advance human health and welfare.

Center for Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Semiconductors for Energy (CHOISE)

The Chemical and Biological Engineering and Physics departments, along with the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, participate in a Department of Energy-funded Energy Frontier Research Center Center for Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Semiconductors for Energy (CHOISE) run out of NREL. The goal of CHOSIE is to accelerate discovery and elucidate design principles for unprecedented control over emergent properties involving spin, charge and light-matter interactions, leading to new energy-efficient advanced technologies.

Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

The Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with training the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists and bioengineers. The center was founded in 1997 by Drs. John Carpenter and Ted Randolph as a collaborative relationship between the PhD programs in pharmaceutical sciences at the Anschutz Medical Campus and chemical engineering at the CU Boulder campus. The Center was home to one of the first NIH training grants in pharmaceutical biotechnology for 16 years. The center specializes in multi-disciplinary scientific education, as well as training in non-scientific disciplines including regulatory affairs, health care policy, technology transfer, finance, and marketing.

Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR)

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering currently participates in the Department of Energy-funded Energy Innovation Hub, the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, which includes our 150+ researchers hailing from 20 institutions. The goal of JCESR is to deliver transformative materials for batteries—including cathodes, anodes, electrolytes and interfaces—each modified with intentional defects and disorder to enhance performance.

Membrane Science, Engineering & Technology Center (MAST)

The Membrane Science Engineering and Technology Center is a National Science Foundation Industry and University Cooperative Research Center.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is transforming energy through research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Several ChBE faculty are active researchers for the national laboratory.

Photopolymerization Center

The Research Center represents a collaboration of scientists from the University of Iowa, the University of Colorado, and industrial representatives. Photopolymerizations offer tremendous advantages over traditional thermal processing methods, including low energy requirements, spatial and temporal control of initiation, and high polymerization rates. These advantages have led to tremendous growth in applications of photopolymerizations; however, much of this growth is occurring without a fundamental understanding of the underlying photochemical processes. Hence, there is a critical need to establish an active dialog between academic and industrial researchers.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI)

RASEI reflects a three pronged approach through discovery, transformation and entrepreneurship in linking the University's research in renewable and sustainable energy with climate and environmental science, behavioral science and policy analysis, to name a few.

RASEI was developed to solve the energy crisis through research, education and technology. The Institute was launched in 2006 by co-directors Carl Koval of the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Ray Stutts of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).