What is




Welcome to the Center for Cellular Construction, an NSF Science and Technology Center (STC) supported by NSF grant DBI-1548297. Our mission is to turn cell biology into an engineering discipline by learning how to engineer the physical structure and interactions of living cells, to turn them into living bioreactors and modules of novel self-organizing devices.

We are working to realize this vision through four subgoals: (i) building the tools and concepts to implement a full design-build-test cycle in cell biology; (ii) educating scientists and engineers at all levels to work with the cell as an engineering medium; (iii) broadening awareness and participation; and (iv) driving innovation through applications. Accomplishing these goals will provide a new basis for tackling important global challenges of the 21st century


Wallace Marshall

Center Director

Zev Gartner

Co-Director and Research Coordinator

Debra Singer

Managing Director

Olivia Viloria

Center Finance Administrator

Frank Bayliss

SFSU – Center Diversity Coordinator

Rebecca Smith

UCSF-SEP – Education Coordinator

Orion Weiner

UCSF – Graduate Education Coordinator

Charles Craik

UCSF Entrepreneurship and Knowledge Transfer Coordinator

Charles Hart

Knowledge Transfer Advisor

Robert McGinn

CCC Lead Ethics Investigator
Center for Work, Technology & Organization, Stanford University (Emeritus Professor)

Jennifer Fung

Information Coordinator



Jennifer Frazier, Exploratorium Site Director


Sara Capponi, IBM Site Director

Tom Zimmerman

University of California San Francisco

Shawn Douglas

Sophie Dumont

Orion Weiner

University of California Berkeley

Daniel Fletcher

John Dueber

San Francisco State University

Mark Chan

Diana Chu

Laura Burrus

Wilfred Denetclaw

Raymond Esquerra

Blake Riggs

Stanford University

Sindy Tang

Manu Prakash


JoAnne Williams


Jennifer Thompson



External advisory committee

Neda Bagheri
Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Northwestern University

Judi Brown Clarke
Vice President for Equity & Inclusion
Stony Brook University

Thomas Daniel
Dept. of Biology
University of Washington

Carlos Gutierrez
Dept. Chemistry and Biochemistry
CSU Los Angeles

Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz
HHMI, Janelia Farm Campus

Jane Maienschein
Center for biology and Society
Arizona State University

Radhika Nagpal,
Dept. of Computer Science
Harvard University

Jodi Nunnari
Chair, Dept. of Molecular & Cellular Biology
UC Davis

Kinkead Reiling
Founder and CEO, Bonneville Labs

Brian von Herzen
Executive Director, Climate Foundation

Dan Widmaier
CEO, Bolt Threads