Opportunity Award

The CCBS Opportunity award competition is open to any UCI graduate student or postdoctoral researcher (including project scientists, specialists, etc.), who is present at the CCBS retreat.  Any pair (or trio) of individuals who meet the above criteria may jointly submit a proposal for this year's competition following the instructions below:

Now Accepting Applications for 2019-20


Variability and plasticity - That is: 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.

Award Information

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.


  • Any UCI graduate student or postdoctoral researcher (including project scientists, specialists etc), who was present at the CCBS 2019-20 retreat, may submit a proposal
  • Any pair (or trio) of individuals who meet the above criteria may jointly submit a proposal.

Application Criteria

  • 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

How to Submit

  • Step I:  Before 12:30 PM on on last day of the retreat, hand in (or email to Karen Martin) a one paragraph abstract (can be handwritten) briefly describing the nature of the project
  • Step II:  Send a more complete description (up to three pages) by email two weeks post the retreat, to kymartin@uci.edu.

This Year's Theme:


2018 - 2019 Awardees

Characterizing the Transition Between Naïve and Primed States of Pluripotent ESCs in Different Mammalian SpeciesChristina Wilcox, Kate Williams PI - Ali Mortazavi

Linh Vuong, PI - Peter Donovan
Developmental & Cell Biology

Developmental & Cell Biology
Transcriptomic analysis of MCF-10A mammary epithelial acini in normal and invasive statesSorena Rahmanian, PI - Ali Mortazavi

Qingda Hu, PI - Elliot Botvinick
Developmental & Cell Biology

Biomedical Engineering and Surgery
Understanding cellular state transitions in the mammary gland microenvironment from a control theory perspectiveKevin Nee, PI - Kai Kessenbrock

Suoqin Jin, PI - Qing Nie
Biological Chemistry

Mathematics and Developmental & Cell Biology
Transitional states regulating macrophage heterogeneity in dystrophic muscleNick Pervolarakis, Quy
Nguyen, PI - Kai Kessenbrock

Jenna Kastenschmidt, PI - S. Armando Villalta
Biological Chemistry

Physiology & Biophysics
Methylation pseudotime: a novel tool for observing protein-DNA interactionsJulien Morival, PI - Tim Downing

Adam MacLean, PI - Qing Nie
Biomedical Engineering

Mathematics and Developmental & Cell Biology
Label-free, non-destructive determination of cell state using high throughput characterization of cell physical propertiesMatt Bovyn, PI - Jun Allard

Cody Combs, PI - Zuzanna Siwy
Physics and Astronomy and Mathematics

Physics and Astronomy
Optimal experimental design for feedback models of hematopoiesisLuis Martinez-Lomeli, PI - Babak Shahbaba/Volodymyr Minin

Abdon Iniguez, Shuxiong Wang, PI - John Lowengrub 

Prasanthi Tata, PI - Richard Van Etten

Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering & Material Science

Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine