Website Update

About Us

CAB History and Overview

The precursor of Cal Poly’s Center for Applications in Biotechnology (CAB) was the Environmental Biotechnology Institute (EBI) at Cal Poly, founded by Dr. Raul Cano in 1999. For over 10 years, the EBI conducted critical research and established working partnerships with corporations such as Unocal, Chevron, Xoma, Danisco, and MoBio, as well as many Universities in California, the US and around the world. The EBI's mission was to develop and apply biological tools to address environmental concerns and discover new resources through collaborative interdisciplinary research and education.

Highlights from Past Work at EBI (now CAB)

  • Evaluated bioremediation to clean up environmental impacts of oil extraction at the Guadalupe Dunes on the Central Coast of CA.
  • Pioneered eco-remediation, introducing using native plants species into the restoration and remediation projects.
  • Pioneered and expanded TRFLP (Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism), a DNA based technique for tracking changes in microbial communities from soil, water, and other sources to evaluate microbial functions in environmental contexts.
  • Student research led to a patent for detecting bacterial genes for metabolizing gases that come from oil deposits to be used in oil exploration.

A Change in Name Broadens Participation

In 2011, the EBI opened to research across the widening breadth of biotechnology and became the Center for Applications in Biotechnology.  New faculty involvement now includes cell-free protein engineering, food microbiology, probiotics and health, bioinformatics and DNA sequencing, as well as continued research in environmental concerns.

The CAB vision – to support research and development of biotechnology on Cal Poly campus, to be a place where students are trained to apply their knowledge and faculty are involved in bringing the fruits of their discipline to benefit their community.

The CAB mission – to develop and apply biological tools to address human concerns through collaborative interdisciplinary research, and to educate the next generation of biotechnologists.

CAB Goals

  1. To develop innovative interdisciplinary research programs in support of the CAB mission.
  2. To provide the infrastructure necessary to meet the CAB mission.
  3. To foster the professional growth and development of its members.
  4. To create a forum for scientific exchange, education and interaction.
  5. To enhance education by creating an active learning environment for student-faculty interaction.
  6. To develop partnerships, relationships and opportunities with industry, government and community organizations, and other educational/research institutions.
  7. To communicate with the world’s scientific community.

Bioinformatics and Applied Data Science Core

The Bioinformatics and Applied Data Science Core at Cal Poly (BADS Core), directed by Dr. Paul Anderson and Dr. Jean Davidson, maintains a cloud-based computational research laboratory with bioinformatics and data science pipelines. The cloud infrastructure is supported in partnership with the Cal Poly DxHUB. The BADS Core provides informatics and applied data science support for the biological sciences as an extension of the Center for Applications in Biotechnology, which houses state of the art labs and research space. The core supports a wide range of data-driven analyses including but not limited to genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics.

For more information, please contact Dr. Anderson ( or Dr. Davidson (

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