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 "connect". 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. Your team will be notified by mid-October about whether you qualify for a CREST-funded model.
  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

Unfortunately, the annual ASBMB meeting, along with the entire Experimental Biology meeting will be held remotely this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Teams should explore their options for participating remotely on the ASBMB website. On the upside, no one will have to budget for travel costs!

Presenting at ASBMB

Check the ASBMB website for details about the virtual Undergraduate Poster Session. As of early September, information on the website had not been updated from the 2020 meeting.

ASBMB Meeting Schedule

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

Project Deadlines

Although modeling teams may work at their own pace on the project, any teams wishing to participate in the virtual CREST Conversations in March will need to adhere to the following deadlines to complete their projects in time for the conversations. Teams that have participated in prior years will notice that the schedule is condensed this year.

  • October 15: 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 15: Last day to submit model design proposal. An email is sufficient to explain how you want to tell your molecular story. Will you be building a model of the whole protein? An active site box? Will you want small molecules (for instance, a substrate, drug or antibody)? Do you envision employing magnets? 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 November 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. (Most models can be built without incurring additional costs, but multiple models and/or magnets can increase costs.)
  • December 1: Last day to submit first draft of model design, abstract and model description sheet to CBM. Submitting your design earlier is better!
  • December 15: Last day to submit final model design, abstract and model description to the CBM. We cannot guarantee that there will be time to complete any models submitted after this date in time for the virtual CREST Conversations.
  • January and February: Teams will develop Jmol Exploration describing their project for 'publication' on the CREST website. This is in lieu of creating a poster to showcase their project.
  • Late February through March: Virtual CREST Conversations with CREST teams and researchers.
  • Late March: Project evaluation. Teams may be asked to participate in virtual focus groups and/or complete an online survey.

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 December 15 in order to assure their model will be completed in time for the virtual CREST Conversations. 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

Questions about the CREST Program? Contact Margaret Franzen at We look forward to hearing from you!

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

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