Cheemeng Tan

Cheemeng Tan

Position Title
Associate Professor

  • Department of Biomedical Engineering
GH3009, Davis, CA 95616

Research Interests

Holistic Synthetic Biology for Biomedical Applications

When a protein-synthesis network goes awry, proteins cannot be synthesized at the right form, amount, time, and space. This problem can lead to diseases and challenges in the synthesis of proteins. To overcome the challenge, we use a unique holistic synthetic-biology approach that integrates synthetic and systems biology. The holistic approach exploits state-of-the-art molecular biology, quantitative measurements, and high-throughput methods. Our study will lead to precise and efficient ways to control protein-synthesis networks in biotechnological applications and disease treatment.

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


A Biosensing Soft Robot: Integrating Chemical and Optical Responsive Synthetic Cells with Soft Robotics. K. Justus, T. Hellebrekers, D. Lewis, A. Wood, C. Ingham, C. Majidi, P. LeDuc, and C. Tan. Science Robotics, 2019

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

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

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

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