On 1st November 1981, University of the Punjab announced the “birth” of the Centre. In April, 1983 the Federal Government allocated a sum of 1.635 million rupees to create a nucleus laboratory of the Centre. In November, 1985 the proposal to establish the Centre for Advanced Molecular Biology (CAMB) was approved at a cost of 24.55 million rupees. In 1986, the CAMB project was upgraded into a Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) and the cost of setting it up was subsequently revised in January 1991, to 44.33 million rupees. In April 1987, the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST) approved the establishment of a Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB), located back to back with the laboratory block of the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB).
The CEMB established nucleus laboratories in March, 1985 in two student laboratories of the Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore. Construction work on the CEMB building started in 1987 on a site located in Lahore’s southern suburb of Thokar Niaz Baig along the Canal. The scientific staff moved into the new building in late 1992-93
The CEMB laboratory complex is spread over 60 acres of land, with a covered area of 15000 square meters, including an old Laboratory Block, a new laboratory block, a Teaching Block, Hostels for Ph.D. Research Scholars. The old Laboratory Block comprising a total of 30 Research Labs two containment labs and six Conference Rooms; one Production Unit and one Support Facilities Unit comprising a Lab-aid Section (for washing, autoclaving and media preparation), an Animal House, an Insectary, six large Plant Growth Rooms, and storage space for research materials. The Teaching Block consists of a well equipped Library, four Seminar/ Lecture Halls, a new Auditorium and Modern Facilities for Photocopy & Photography, Computer Rooms, a Conference Hall, Director’s Office, Administration and Accounts section. There is a self-service canteen, a dining hall, and 50 rooms in the research scholars hostels.
Teaching and training to generate a cadre of manpower specifically trained in molecular biology and recombinant DNA technology
Undertake goal oriented molecular biological research on specific problems, in agriculture, health & medicine, industry, energy and environmental sector
Create a repository of DNA enzymes, DNA cloning vectors, novel bacterial strains and other such molecular tools for ready availability and use by various research groups at this Centre and other DNA research laboratories in Pakistan
Organize national & international seminars & conferences for in-depth discussions on scientific & technological developments which will lead to new ideas & innovative applications of knowledge in gene cloning & recombinant DNA technology