NSF Center for Genetically Encoded Materials

Repurposing the translational apparatus to establish a fundamentally new form of chemical matter–sequence-defined chemical polymers

C-GEM. Transforming the very fabric of society.

Our mission

C-GEM is establishing a fundamentally new way to program chemical matter and transform the way scientists design and produce materials and medicines. Using computation and experiment, C-GEM is repurposing nature’s protein synthesizing machine–the ribosome and it’s associated translation factors–to biosynthesize genetically encoded, sequence-defined chemical polymers with unprecedented functions and activities. Our combined activities span the fields of chemical biology, synthetic biology, synthetic chemistry, structural biology, computational biology, and molecular biology, and are highly collaborative. To catalyze these efforts, C-GEM implemented GEM-NET, a sophisticated data management system to promote data sharing within and outside the team, and with industry, the NSF, and the public. By fostering innovation at the chemical-biology-materials frontier, C-GEM is establishing a diverse chemical workforce, perfecting the integration of research with training, and captivating scientists and non-scientists alike.

Latest News

C-GEM receives $20M in NSF funding

It’s official – the NSF has selected C-GEM as one of two Phase I Centers to advance to Phase II of the Centers for Chemical Innovation program, receiving $20M in funding over the next five years. …

Scott Miller elected to the National Academy of Sciences

C-GEM congratulates Senior Investigator Scott Miller on his election to the National Academies of Sciences! For more, see this article from Yale News.

Yale News: Scientists take big step towards producing novel polymers in living cells

An article about C-GEM appeared in Yale News: Scientists take big step towards producing novel polymers in living cells.

GEM-NET: the software that keeps C-GEM connected

A deep dive into the tools that make up C-GEM’s scientific teamwork software infrastructure.

Director Schepartz wins ACS award for peptide chemistry

Alanna Schepartz will be awarded the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry at the March meeting of the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes an individual who has made “outstanding…

Omer Ad talks about new building blocks for C-GEM polymers

Our fourth podcast features C-GEM Seed Investigator Omer Ad discussing recent research demonstrating the ribosomal translation of benzoic acids.

Solve puzzles for science.

Eterna is a scientific discovery game created by C-GEM Senior Investigator Rhiju Das. Rhiju has built EteRNA into a massive open laboratory to design molecular medicines, get feedback from real experiments at Stanford’s School of Medicine, and turn findings into scientific publications.