Cheemeng Tan

Born in: Malaysia
Primary research category: Synthetic Biology, Antibiotic Treatment, Gene Regulation
Research location / employer: Department of Biomedical Engineering
Fellowship dates: 2012-2017

Academic Career

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of California Davis (2013-now)

Lane Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University (2010-2013)


PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 2010

MSc in High Performance Computation for Engineered Systems, Singapore-MIT Alliance, 2002

Fellowship Research

Dr. Cheemeng Tan takes a two-pronged approach to tackle drug resistant problems in antibiotic and anticancer treatment. On the one hand, he innovates synthetic cell-based methods for the engineering and delivery of therapeutic biomolecules. The synthetic cells are minimal systems constructed from the bottom-up to mimic key features of living cells. On the other hand, he creates multi-disciplinary approaches to reveal insights into disease development and treatment. The multi-scale framework combines synthetic biology approaches and measurements of biological systems at the single molecule, single cell, and cell-population levels.

Major Contributions

Villarreal, M. Chavez, Y. Ding, J. Fan, T. Pan, and C. Tan. Synthetic microbial consortia enable rapid assembly of multi-protein complexes. Nature Chemical Biology, 10.1038/nchembio.2514, 2017.

Fan, F. Villarreal, B. Weyers, Y. Ding, K. Tseng, J. Li, B. Li*, C. Tan*, and T. Pan*. Multi-dimensional studies of synthetic genetic promoters enabled by microfluidic impact printing. Lab-on-a-chip, 17, 2198-2207, 2017. (*Co-corresponding)

Tan, S. Saurabh, M. Bruchez, R. Schwartz, and P. LeDuc. Shaping gene expression in artificial cellular systems by cell-inspired molecular crowding. Nature Nanotechnology, 8 (8), 602-608, 2013.

Tan*, R. Smith*, J. Srimani, K. Riccione, S. Prasada, M. Kuehn, and L. You. The inoculum effect and band-pass bacterial response to periodic antibiotic treatment. Molecular Systems Biology, 8:617, 2012. (*Equal contribution)

C. Tan, P. Marguet, and L. You. Emergent bistability by a growth-modulating positive feedback circuit. Nature Chemical Biology, 5, 842-848, 2009.

Major Awards

  • NIH NIBIB Trailblazer Award, 2019
  • Human Frontier Science Program, Young Investigator Grant, 2015-2018
  • Lane Fellowship, Nov 2010-2013
  • Medtronic Fellowship, 2009
  • q-bio 3 (2009) & q-bio 5 (2011) Travel Awards
  • BioBricks Foundation Synthetic Biology 4.0 Travel Award, 2008
  • Kuok Foundation Award, 1997-2001

Collaborative Projects with other Branco Weiss Fellows