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Advances in synthetic biology are enabling the scalable and sustainable production of non-petroleum-based monomers and the identification of conditions that lead to economical in cellulo polymerization. Similarly, advances in synthetic chemistry now utilize a broad range of functional monomers in controlled polymer synthesis.

The NSF BioPACIFIC MIP (DMR-1933487) aims to merge these new realities by providing access to scientific expertise, multiscale computation and simulation for forward and inverse design, physical bio-sourced monomer libraries and digital pathways libraries, and advanced instrumentation capabilities. BioPACIFIC MIP enables data-driven discovery and scalable production of bio-derived building blocks and polymers from yeast, fungi and bacteria, and the conversion of these blocks into next-generation polymers with properties and performance far exceeding those currently available in materials produced through traditional petrochemical-based methods.

BioPACIFIC MIP delivers education and training in automated synthetic biology, chemical synthesis, and advanced biomaterials characterization to users and potential users, while promoting diversity and inclusion at all organizational levels and in all aspects of operation.


BioPACIFIC MIP Leadership is committed to promoting gender, ethnic, and racial diversity across all facets of the organization through targeted User Recruitment and Training, Education, Outreach, and Hiring, which will ensure BioPACIFIC MIP Fellows, Summer School attendees, and BioPACIFIC MIP users are representative of our nation’s diverse talent.


Scientific Directors
  • Javier Read de Alaniz, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Director, PI
  • Heather Maynard, Professor, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Bioengineering, Co-Director, Co-PI
  • Craig Hawker, Professor, Materials, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, Co-PI
  • Yi Tang, Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Co-PI
External Advisory Board
  • Geoff Coates, Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell
  • LaShanda Korley, Distinguished Professor, Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware
  • Kermit Kwan, Technical Advisor, Platform R&D, Solvay
  • Gabriel Lopez, Vice President for Research, UNM
  • Josh Speros, Innovation Manager, BASF
  • Karen Wooley, Distinguished Professor, Chemistry, Texas A&M
  • Huimin Zhao, Professor, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Bioengineering, UIUC
  • Ronald Zuckermann, Sr. Research Advisor, Biological Nanostructures Facility, The Molecular Foundry

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Launched concurrently with BioPACIFIC MIP, GlycoMIP aims to accelerate glycomaterials science and innovation.


NSF Materials Innovation Platforms

The Materials Innovation Platform (MIP) program is a mid-scale infrastructure program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR) designed to accelerate advances in materials research. MIPs respond to the increasing complexity of materials research that requires close collaboration of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams and access to cutting edge tools. These tools in a user facility benefit both a user program and in-house research, which focus on addressing grand challenges of fundamental science and meet national needs. MIPs embrace the paradigm set forth by the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), which strives to "discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials twice as fast, at a fraction of the cost," and conduct research through iterative "closed-loop" efforts among the areas of materials synthesis/processing, materials characterization, and theory/modeling/simulation. In addition, they are expected to engage the emerging field of data science in materials research. Each MIP is a scientific ecosystem, which includes in-house research scientists, external users and other scientists who, collectively, form a community of practitioners and share tools, codes, samples, data and know-how. The knowledge sharing is designed to strengthen collaborations among scientists and enable them to work in new ways, fostering new modalities of research and education/training, for the purpose of accelerating discovery and development of new materials and novel materials phenomena/properties, as well as fostering their eventual deployment.

The major activities of a MIP include:

  • Develop next-generation experimental and computational tools, as well as advancing the capabilities of the current state-of-the-art tools;
  • Conduct in-house research by a transdisciplinary team in a focused topic designed to address a grand challenge of fundamental science and meet a national need;
  • Operate a user facility that provides unique materials research tools, samples, data, and technical services open to a diverse community of external researchers at various institutions; and
  • Serve as an educational focal point for training the next generation of tool developers and users.
The California NanoSystems Institute

The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) is an integrated research facility with locations at UCSB and UCLA and is one of the California Institutes for Science and Innovation (Cal-ISI) established in 2000. CNSI serves as a hub that leverages public and private investment to drive interdisciplinary research, translates discoveries into knowledge-driven commercial enterprises, and educates the next generation of scientist and engineers. CNSI members represent a multi-disciplinary team of some of the world's preeminent scientists from the life and physical sciences, engineering, and medicine. The work conducted at the CNSI represents world-class expertise in four targeted areas of nanosystems-related research including Energy, Environment, Health-Medicine, and Information Technology. CNSI houses a number of world-class shared use experimental facilities and startup-focused incubators and is home to the Center for Scientific Computing (high-performance computing), the Center for Science and Engineering partnerships (professional development, education, outreach, and evaluation), and the recently funded NSF Quantum Foundry (DMR-1906325).

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The BioPACIFIC MIP is funded by an NSF cooperative agreement (DMR-1933487)