Office of Research OR Research Units - Office of Research

OR Research Units

The Office of Research promotes interdisciplinary research by overseeing organized research units, special research programs and research instruments & central facilities listed below. For more information on the Office of Research’s research units please contact Research Units Administration.

Organized Research Units

Air Quality Research Center

Air Quality Research Center

The Air Quality Research Center provides support for teams of collaborative researchers to conduct scientific, engineering, health, social and economic research that educates and informs planning and regulations for air quality and climate change. The center educates and informs through conferences, outreach, scholarly publications and training grants.

Director: Anthony Wexler
Learn more about Air Quality Research Center

Bodega Marine Laboratory

Coastal and Marine Science Institute/Bodega Marine Laboratory

The Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute is a comprehensive unit that coordinates and catalyzes the research, educational, and outreach programs in marine science and policy on the main campus and Bodega Marine Laboratory. As an institution, UC Davis has distinguished research centers that link the key iconic features from California’s Sierra Nevada, central valley, the San Francisco Bay watershed and the coastal ocean.

Director: Rick Grosberg
Learn more about Coastal and Marine Science Institute

California National Primate Research Center

California National Primate Research Center

The California National Primate Research Center is a part of the National Primate Research Centers Program and is dedicated to improving human and animal health. Research projects conducted at the primate center are contributing in substantial ways to health care and are developing a better understanding of, and new treatments for, a wide range of human health problems including asthma, HIV/AIDS, childhood illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease, and environmental toxins that impact our health.

Director: John Morrison
Learn more about California National Primate Research Center
Primate Center Frequently Asked Questions

Comprehensive Cancer Center

Comprehensive Cancer Center

In 2002, the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center became the nation’s 61st National Cancer Institute center. According to the NCI, its designated centers “are the major sources of new knowledge relating to the nature of cancer and of new and more effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and therapy.”

Director: Primo Nery Lara, Jr.
Learn more about UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

The Center for Healthcare Policy and Research facilitates research activities in the areas of health policy, healthcare delivery, quality, and comparative effectiveness. The center is a valuable resource to researchers in these areas who need assistance in grants development, project implementation and management, or financial administration.

Director: Joy Melnikow
Learn more about Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Institute of Transportation Studies

Institute of Transportation Studies

The Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis is a multi-faceted, internationally recognized program. The institute assembles teams of academic faculty, research faculty and graduate students to collaborate on research projects. These projects are organized within three primary research areas: travel behavior and transportation systems modeling; environmental vehicle technologies; and climate change, air quality and other environmental impacts.

Director: Daniel Sperling
Learn more about Institute of Transportation Studies

John Muir Institute of the Environment

John Muir Institute of the Environment

The John Muir Institute of the Environment supports innovation and discovery aimed at solving real-world environmental problems. The institute’s faculty are committed to strengthening the scientific foundation for environmental decision making through collective entrepreneurship, a team-oriented approach that recognizes the complexities of environmental problems and the societal context in which they occur.

Director: Benjamin Z. Houlton
Learn more about John Muir Institute of the Environment

Program in International and Community Nutrition

Program in International and Community Nutrition

The Program in International and Community Nutrition coordinates research and training activities concerning human nutrition problems of low-income countries, and of ethnic minorities and disadvantaged groups in the United States. The program provides technical assistance to national governments and international agencies concerned with food and nutrition policies of developing countries.

Interim Director: Christine Stewart
Learn more about Program in International and Community Nutrition

Special Research Programs

Biotechnology Program

The Biotechnology Program is the administrative home for the DEB (Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology) and ADP (Advanced Degree for Corporate Employees) graduate programs, NSF and NIH Biotechnology PhD Training Grants and links academia to biotechnology industries and government agencies.

Interim Director: Denneal Jamison-McClung
Learn more about Biotechnology Program

Cannabis and Hemp Research Center

The Cannabis and Hemp Research Center serves as the university’s hub, bringing together scientists, engineers, scholars and clinicians involved in research related to cannabis and hemp at UC Davis. As a leader in agriculture, plant science and veterinary medicine, with a top-ranked medical center and law school, UC Davis has an extensive research infrastructure in place that is pioneering advancements in the production, testing, and applications for use as well as providing insight for social implications and policy.

Director: In recruitment
Learn more about the Cannabis and Hemp Research Center

Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) creates information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. CITRIS leverages the research strengths of University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz, and operates withing the greater ecosystem of the University and the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley.  The institute was created to “shorten the pipeline” between world-class laboratory research and the development of applications, platforms, companies, and even new industries.  CITRIS facilitates multi-partnerships and collaborations among more than 300 faculty members, thousands of students and researchers from over 60 corporations and institutions.

Director: Bahram Ravani
Learn more about Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

Energy and Efficiency Institute

One of the 21st century’s biggest challenges is transitioning to a sustainable energy future. The UC Davis Energy Institute combines research, education, and outreach programs in energy science, technology, management, and policy to help facilitate this transition and provide new energy solutions.

Interim Director: Mark Modera
Learn more about UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute

Feminist Research Institute

The Feminist Research Institute (FRI) is a collaborative, trans-disciplinary hub for exploring how gender, sexuality, race, and other social structures inform the design, execution, and interpretation of research.

Director: Kalindi Vora
Learn more about Feminist Research Institute

Innovation Institute for Food and Health

The Innovation Institute for Food and Health (IIFH) makes uncommon connections between sectors and disciplines to catalyze innovation across food, agriculture, and health. Its vision is to accelerate deployment of products and processes that enable safe, sustainable, and secure nutrition for all. They work with partners to identify systemic issues as the basis for collaborative programs. The IIFH strategically coordinates both top-down (partner driven) and bottom-up (investigator initiated) approaches to formulate solutions.

Director: Justin B. Siegel
Learn more about Innovation Institute for Food and Health


The Microbiome SRP is designed to leverage and build upon the broad and deep expertise in microbiome science across the university. The program represents a concerted effort to increase the competitiveness of microbiome research teams, enhance communication and training on microbiome-related topics and raise the profile and impact of microbiome research at UC Davis.

Director: Jonathan Eisen
Learn more about Microbiome

Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy

The Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy leverages world-class university expertise and engages policy makers and stakeholders to identify policy and research priorities, synthesize existing knowledge, and deliver timely and relevant information to the policy process. The institute focuses on subjects where UC Davis has world-class expertise including: sustainable mobility, clean energy, energy and water efficiency, climate, agriculture, and ecology, including air and water quality.

Executive Director: Austin L. Brown
Learn more about Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy

Tahoe Environmental Research Center

UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and education to advance the knowledge of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and their interactions within natural and developed Earth systems, and to communicate science-informed solutions worldwide.

Director: Geoffrey Schladow
Learn more about Tahoe Environmental Research Center

Research Instruments and Central Facilities

Campus Mass Spectrometry Facilities

The Campus Mass Spectrometry Facilities provides open access, high quality, and cost-effective mass spectrometry services for the entire UC Davis community. The facility is focused on providing quality resources in mass spectrometry to meet the research needs of the campus, in line with the university’s service mission as an academic institution.

Director:Carlito Lebrilla
Learn more about Campus Mass Spectrometry Facilities

Controlled Environment Facility

The Controlled Environment Facility consists of 151 plant growth chambers at two locations. Chamber controls include light intensity, temperature, relative humidity, photoperiod and plant irrigation systems. The facility contains many specialized units, such as a dew chamber for virus and pathogen inoculation, 15 chambers that control CO2 levels within the chamber up to 2500 parts per million, 1 chamber is available for low temperature [-10C]: experiments, 1 chamber with a M10 fluorescent / incandescent lamp canopy and another chamber is equipped with a chemical air drier for low humidity studies.

Director: William Lucas
Learn more about Controlled Environment Facility

Interdisciplinary Center for Plasma Mass Spectrometry

The Interdisciplinary Center for Plasma Mass Spectrometry is a facility for trace element and isotope analyses with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The facility is comprised of two laboratories: Quadrupole ICP-MS/Laser Ablation instrumentation & Multiple Collection (MC) ICP-MS/Laser Ablation instrumentation.

Director: Charles Lesher
Learn more about Interdisciplinary Center for Plasma Mass Spectrometry

McClellan Nuclear Research Center

The McClellan Nuclear Research Center operates a 2 MW TRIGA type nuclear reactor and was originally developed by the US Air Force to detect low-level corrosion and hidden defects in aircraft structures using neutron radiography. Since then, services at the center have expanded to include computer tomography (three-dimensional neutron radiography), silicon doping, isotope production, neutron activation analysis, and radiation effects testing.

Director: Wesley Frey
Learn more about McClellan Nuclear Research Center

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility provides qualified researchers in the biological, medical, and physical sciences access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for spectroscopy and imaging. At present the facility operates 10 spectrometers of varying purposes and capabilities. All of the spectrometers are multinuclear and a large variety of liquids, solids, surface, and imaging coils are available for use.

Director: James Ames
Learn more about Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility