CCBS Opportunity Award Competition 2018

Cell states and transitions

This means research into what defines cell types and states; why states are stable; how transitions among different states are normally controlled, or can be deliberately engineered; dynamic or stochastic aspects or cell states; theories of state transitions; or any other topic related to the meaningful individuality of cell “types.” 


  • Step I:  Before 12:30 PM on Sunday, March 25th, hand in (or email to Karen Martin) a one paragraph abstract (can even be handwritten) briefly describing the nature of the project.
  • Step II:  Send a more complete description (up to three pages) by email by Monday, April 9th, to:


2018 Opportunity Awards

Congratulations to the winners of this year's CCBS Opportunity Awards competition based on the theme of Cell States and Transitions! Each winning proposal will receive $10,000 to be shared between the faculty for lab project expenses; and a $1,000 award for research supplies to be shared between student and/or postdoctoral participants. We look forward to hearing about the projects at next year's annual CCBS retreat scheduled March 29 - 31, 2019 at the Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles!

Characterizing the Transition Between Naïve and Primed States of Pluripotent ESCs in Different Mammalian Species Christina Wilcox, Kate Williams PI - Ali Mortazavi Developmental & Cell Biology
Linh Vuong, PI - Peter Donovan Developmental & Cell Biology
Transcriptomic analysis of MCF-10A mammary epithelial acini in normal and invasive states Sorena Rahmanian, PI - Ali Mortazavi Developmental & Cell Biology
Qingda Hu, PI - Elliot Botvinick Biomedical Engineering and Surgery
Understanding cellular state transitions in the mammary gland microenvironment from a control theory perspective Kevin Nee, PI - Kai Kessenbrock Biological Chemistry
Suoqin Jin, PI - Qing Nie  Mathematics and Developmental & Cell Biology
Transitional states regulating macrophage heterogeneity in dystrophic muscle Nick Pervolarakis, Quy Nguyen, PI - Kai Kessenbrock Biological Chemistry
Jenna Kastenschmidt, PI - S. Armando Villalta  Physiology & Biophysics
Methylation pseudotime: a novel tool for observing protein-DNA interactions Julien Morival, PI - Tim Downing Biomedical Engineering
Adam MacLean, PI - Qing Nie  Mathematics  and Developmental & Cell Biology 
Label-free, non-destructive determination of cell state using high throughput characterization of cell physical properties Matt Bovyn, PI - Jun Allard Physics and Astronomy and Mathematics
Cody Combs, PI - Zuzanna Siwy Physics and Astronomy
Optimal experimental design for feedback models of hematopoiesis Luis Martinez-Lomeli, PI - Babak Shahbaba/Volodymyr Minin Statistics
Abdon Iniguez, Shuxiong Wang, PI - John Lowengrub  Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering & Material Science
Prasanthi Tata, PI - Richard Van Etten Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine

CCBS Opportunity Award Competition

Opportunity Award Competition 2019/2020

Posted 3/29/19
Theme:  Variability and plasticity
“This means research to understand diversity and difference, and its impact on phenotype and function.  Variability here refers to measurable differences across sets of genes, cells, molecules, networks, genotypes or organisms”
•A short-term (up to 1 year), feasible research investigation that answers a research question related to this year’s theme
•Must involve participation from at least one lab/research group from a different discipline or department than your own
•Must be a “new” project
•Any UCI graduate student or postdoctoral researcher (including project scientists, specialists etc), who is present at the retreat, may submit a proposal
•Any pair (or trio) of individuals who meet the above criteria may jointly submit a proposal.
To submit:
•Step I:  Before 12:30 PM on Sunday, hand in (or email to Karen Martin) a one paragraph abstract (can even be handwritten) briefly describing the nature of the project
•Step II:  Send a more complete description (up to three pages) by email by Monday April 15th, to


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This is a test of how to write an article.

This is a test of how to write an article.

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This is a test of how to write an article.
This is a test of how to write an article.


$3.3 million NIH grant awarded for the study of scarless wound healing

wound healing trio

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year, $3.3 million grant to UCI’s Qing Nie, Chancellor’s Professor of mathematics and developmental & cell biology; Maksim Plikus, associate professor of developmental & cell biology; and Xing Dai, professor of biological chemistry. They will blend cutting-edge, single-cell techniques with mathematical modeling to study wound healing.  Read More...

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