Cheemeng Tan

Cheemeng Tan

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Department of Biomedical Engineering

GH3009, Davis, CA 95616

Research Interests

Synthetic biology, biomimetic systems, and antibiotic treatment

The Tan Lab creates and studies synthetic biological networks from the bottom-up for biomedical applications. The Tan Lab pursues two fundamental directions. First, the lab creates biomimetic networks in cell-free, artificial cells, and living cells for biotechnological applications. Second, the lab investigates how noise and feedback loops affect the dynamics of biological networks. The lab aims to merge the two directions to overcome important challenges in the creation of peptide- and protein-based drugs, drug discovery, and disease treatment. His work is multi-disciplinary and strives to create a new frontier in synthetic & quantitative biology by synergizing ideas from different fields.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group
  • Biophysics
  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Chemical Engineering

Specialties / Focus

  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Recognition
  • Cell Biology
  • Cellular Responses to Toxins and Stress
  • Computational Biology
  • Computational and Theoretical Biology
  • Dynamics and Biophysical Engineering
  • Gene Regulation
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Microbiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Synthetic Biology


  • 2010 PhD Biomedical Engineering Duke University
  • 2002 MS High Performance Computing Singapore-MIT Alliance


Synthetic microbial consortia enable rapid assembly of multi-protein complexes. F. Villarreal, M. Chavez, Y. Ding, J. Fan, T. Pan, and C. Tan. Nature Chemical Biology, 2018

Reconfigurable Analog Signal Processing by Living Cells. D. Lewis, M. Chavez, K. Chiu, C. Tan. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2017

Multi-dimensional Studies of Synthetic Genetic Promoters Enabled by Microfluidic Impact Printing. J Fan, F Villarreal, B Weyers, Y Ding, K Tseng, J Li, B Li*, C. Tan*, and T Pan* (*co-corresponding authors). Lab on a chip, 2017

C. Tan, S. Saurabh, M. Bruchez, R. Schwartz, and P. LeDuc.Shaping gene expression in artificial cellular systems by cell-inspired molecular crowding. Nature Nanotechnology, 2013.

C. Tan*, R. Smith*, J. Srimani, K. Riccione, S. Prasada, M. Kuehn, and L. You. (*Equal contribution).The inoculum effect and band-pass bacterial response to periodic antibiotic treatment.Molecular Systems Biology, 2012

C. Tan, P. Marguet, and L. You. Emergent bistability by a growth-modulating positive feedback circuit. Nature Chemical Biology, 2009.