The focus of CEMC, initially funded by a FONDAP project (2002-2012), was the study of signal transduction mechanisms that operate in normal and abnormal (pathological) cells. The problems studied were designed to understand the function of nerve cells, the action of hormones, the physiology of skeletal and cardiac muscle, cell death and cancer. Specific areas of research carried out at the Center included the study of signal transduction mechanisms that are involved in calcium signaling, cancer, steroidogenesis, cell death and the role of mineralocorticoids in cardiovascular damage.
In the years 2013-2015 under the direction of Dr. Andrew Quest, the center sought to expand these areas of research, emphasizing multidisciplinary interactions with clinical and epidemiological groups. Since 2013 research efforts have focused on chronic diseases of importance in Chile, stress signaling pathways in a variety of diseases and studies related to the aging process and the development of neurological disorders. To this end, several new initiatives received independent funding, including the Metabolic Signal Stress Network 2013-2015 (NEMESIS) and the Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases 2013-2018 (ACCDiS). All these initiatives have been supported by the infrastructure and administrative services created by CEMC. The center also provides a supportive framework for the creation and implementation of new research initiatives. In addition, CEMC continues with the mission of fostering high-impact collaborative interactions and advancing the career development of young scientists, promote the training of postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students in a highly interactive environment, and aiding the local scientific community by providing access to facilities with highly specialized equipment. A large number of collaborations with scientific groups in Chile, Argentina, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark, help achieve these objectives.
Since the year 2016, the Center has begun a process of restructuring, with a new focus on Metabolic Diseases, such as: Cancer, Muscular Disorders, Obesity and Diabetes.
With this new orientation it became the Center for Exercise, Metabolic Diseases and Cancer (CEMC2016).