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Ahead of the Curve

Tackling the biggest challenges of our time demands a fresh approach. At UC San Diego, we’ve broken out of traditional academic silos to assemble cross-disciplinary, flexible research teams with a common purpose: to further our understanding of how the world works and the actions we can take to make it a better place.

Forward-looking Research

A Legacy of Leadership to Address Our Changing Climate

Laying the Foundation

UC San Diego’s long-term commitment to climate change research dates to the 1950s with the scientific hypothesis that humanity’s use of fossil fuel causes environmental change.

Interdisciplinary Global Research

Our collaborative interdisciplinary research culture is advancing the frontiers of climate science in four broad themes: Climate Science and Impacts, Adaptation and Solutions, Policy and Climate Justice.

Climate Change Research Centers

Organized research units include researchers and professors from various departments working together to understand and protect the planet as they focus on specific climate change impacts.

Tackling changes and challenges with robotics

Self-driving Cars

Computer vision experts are working on technology to make autonomous vehicles safer. Their most recent breakthrough: enabling cars to pinpoint the location of pedestrians and vehicles.

Teacher Bots

Engineers and cognitive scientists are exploring how to deploy robots for education, including toy robots to inspire future engineers and robots as teaching tools in early childhood education.

Health Care

From home companion robots assisting with eldercare, to nano-robots capable of directed drug delivery and toxin removal, advances in robotics will transform health care.

Studying communities of bacteria, viruses and fungi for better health

National Microbiome Initiative

UC San Diego is a driving force in the White House’s National Microbiome Initiative, an effort to better understand how the bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms living among us influence our health.

Center for Microbiome Innovation

Interdisciplinary research teams are exploring how to harness microbial communities to better manage diseases such as asthma, diabetes and obesity, and to address pressing environmental challenges.

Developing a Microbiome Workforce

The Microbial Sciences Graduate Research Initiative is training the next-generation of cross-disciplinary researchers equipped with the strong quantitative skills needed for this emerging field.