Program Details

CREST teams, consisting of 2-10 members, must register to participate in the program. Team members complete a brief survey both before and after the project to allow project managers to assess the benefits of the program. After registering, team members will receive an email with a link to the survey, as well as information about joining the CBM CREST Project closed Facebook group.

Virtual CREST Meetings via Zoom

CBM staff look forward to getting to know teams throughout the year. Plan on having an introductory meeting early in the school year. Other meetings can be scheduled throughout the year as each team wishes. To schedule a meeting, send a couple of options for meeting time (and indicate your time zone!!) to The team will receive an email invitation to attend a Zoom meeting. During the meeting, we can share computer screens, so this venue is helpful if you have questions about your Jmol model design or poster. Feel free to connect with other teams via Zoom as well. The program is available for free for meetings of up to 100 people - as long as the meeting is less than an hour.

CREST Facebook Group

The CREST Program has a closed Facebook group (CBM CREST Project) for teams to interact. When your team registers, each team member will be invited to join the group. Please create a short video to introduce your CREST Team and post in the Facebook group. Tell us a little about yourselves, your school and your ASBMB student chapter. Feel free to use this space throughout the year to post information about your project with other teams - or to simply "connnect". We'll email teams with a few tasks throughout the year to keep you engaged.

Building a Model

There are three options for building a physical model of your protein:

  1. Receive a model award to have your team model built at no cost to you. (See Award Applications for more details.)
  2. Build your model using a 3D printer at your institution. The CBM will provide online support for use of these printers in building protein models.
  3. Have your model built by the CBM at a grant-subsidized cost of $250.

Attending ASBMB

We encourage ALL teams to send as many members to ASBMB as possible. This is a terrific opportunity to experience the community of science, meet colleagues and dig deeply into current research. Although a LOT of talks will be over your head (no one is an expert in all fields), because of completing your modeling project, you will be well prepared to interact with Dr. Dunham and her colleagues. Plus, unlike most conference participants, you'll have a model to help explain what you know! (Models, like babies and puppies, are great conversation starters!)

Costs for Attending ASBMB

For those planning on attending ASBMB, here is a list of the costs you may encounter:

  • Transportation: If you live within a day's drive of the meeting, and several of you are coming together, driving might be a viable option. Include gas, tolls, parking, and wear and tear on the vehicle when calculating costs. Train or bus may also be goos options, but consider travel time as well as cost. How much time can you take from school, and how much of that time do you want to spend traveling (vs. attending the meeting)? For those traveling from a distance, flying might be your best option. It pays to shop around for flights, and the best prices for spring travel are typically 90 days out. If you have flexibility on which days you fly, you can often get better deals. You will need a valid, government issued photo ID to travel by air.
  • Housing: Conference hotels are often more expensive (you pay for the location), so check out places that are easily accessible by local public transportation. If you are bringing a large group, you might consider renting a house for the conference. (Post any good deals you find on the Facebook group page for other teams!)
  • Food: Food costs at conference centers are typically high. Consider scouting out a local grocery store and stocking up on easy-to-grab and eat snacks. Take advantage of ASBMB receptions that include free food - and try to budget for one fun night out on the town!
Part of the cost depends on the number of days you plan on staying at ASBMB. You won't want to miss the ASBMB Undergraduate Poster Session on Saturday afternoon and opening lecture/reception on Saturday night. You'll want to stay for the CREST Poster Session, award lecture and CREST Conversation. We'll post dates and times for these activities once they are finalized. If you submit a late abstract for presentation at ASBMB (after November 14), poster presentations are scheduled for Wednesday.

Securing Funding to Attend ASBMB

Teams have a number of options for securing funds to attend ASBMB, but early planning will yield better results. Here are some options:

  • Apply for a Travel Award (see details below)
  • Raise funds on your campus (check with your student organizations office about opportunities and regulations)
  • Check with your school/department regading support for attending professional meetings
  • Check with local foundations/businesses asking for support. (You may want to print t-shirts for the team that includes logos from your funders to wear at ASBMB!)
  • Crowd funding - create a good pitch for what you want to do (include a budget), how it will benefit your education/career plans, and include a description of your modeling project. Photos are a plus. Invite friends, relatives, and anyone you know to help support your cause. All the little bits add up!

Presenting at ASBMB

For those teams that wish to present a poster in the ASBMB Undergradate Poster Session, deadline for abstract submission is November 14. In order to submit an abstract, you must know what structure you are modeling and the molecular story you will tell with the model. For more information about abstract requirements, visit the ASBMB abstract submission page. Note that to qualify for either the ASBMS Undergraduate Competitive Travel Award or the ASBMB Student Chapter Travel Award, applicant must be an undergraduate who is first author on a submitted abstract. Visit ASBMB Travel Awards for additional details.

ASBMB Meeting Schedule

This list will be fleshed out as more information becomes available.

  • Saturday, April 6
    • 12:00-12:45 pm Undergraduate Orientation Convention Center W306AB
    • 1:00-4:30 pm Undergraduate Poster Session Convention Center W304
    • 4:45-5:45 pm Exploring Careers Speed Networking Event Convention Center W306AB
    • 6:00-7:00 pm Tang Prize Award Lecture Convention Center Chapin Theater
    • 7:30-8:30 pm Welcome Reception and Science Outreach Activity Posters Convention Center Valencia Ballroom ABCD
    • 8:00-10:00 pm CREST Poster Session Rosen Centre Salon 11
  • Sunday, April 7
    • 12:15-1:30 pm ASBMB poster presentations
    • 2:15-2:45 pm ASBMB Young Investigator Award Lecture Dr. Dunham Convention Center Valencia Vallroom A
    • 3:00-4:00 pm ASBMB Exemplary Contributions to Education Award Lecture and Poster Awards Convention Center Valencia Ballroom A
    • 4:30-7:00 pm CREST Conversation Rosen Centre Grand Ballroom B

There will be lots of other sessions and activities on Monday - Tuesday for those who are able to miss classes and stay for more of the meeting, but we were able to schedule all aspects of the CREST program over the weekend.

Project Deadlines

Although modeling teams may work at their own pace on the project, any teams wishing to compete for model awards or travel awards will need to adhere to the following deadlines:

  • October 31: PDB file and molecular story identified. You'll want to schedule a Zoom meeting with CBM staff to discuss your ideas before this date. (Sooner is definitely better!)
  • November 14: ASBMB abstracts for participation in Undergraduate Poster Session due (note that your project must be well developed at this point to be able to write and submit an abstract.
  • December 15: Last day to submit model design proposal. You don't have to have your model design finalized, but the CBM needs to budget time for completion of all models. Depending on the complexity of your model design, the CBM will notify your team by December 20 whether the design can be built, if deadlines need to be adjusted to allow time for building the model, and if additional design costs will be likely.
  • February 1: Any teams wishing to apply for model awards or travel awards must have all application materials submitted. (See Award Applications for more details.)
  • February 1: Last day to submit first draft of model design, abstract and model description sheet to CBM. Submitting your design earlier is better!
  • February 15: Last day to submit final model design, abstract and model description submitted to the CBM. We cannot guarantee that there will be time to complete any models submitted after this date in time for the ASBMB meeting.

Teams who wish to have their model built at the CBM for a grant-subsidized cost of $250, must have their final model designs submitted by February 15 in order to assure their model will be completed in time to bring to the ASBMB CREST Conversation. For teams interested in building models at their institutions, we encourage you to start early! It takes some time to learn the tricks of model design and appropriate supports for each machine.

Additional Resources

Register your CREST Team Today!

Questions about the CREST Program? Contact Margaret Franzen at or 414-277-2806. We look forward to hearing from you!

The CREST Project is funded by NSF-DUE 1022793 and NSF-DUE 1323414.

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