CABM was established as a program initiative of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology in 1985 to serve as a flagship biomedical research center of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and Rutgers University. The 100,000 sq ft CABM building opened in 1990 and houses researchers dedicated to advancing biomedical research. Resident CABM members have faculty appointments in RWJMS, Ernest-Mario School of Pharmacy (EMSoP) and/or Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and contribute to the teaching and service missions of their schools. Dr. Aaron Shatkin was founding Director of CABM in 1986 and served until his death in 2012. UMDNJ and Rutgers University merged in 2013, with CABM, RWJMS and EMSoP now being part of a new entity, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). The organizational structure of Rutgers is schematized below to serve as a guide to illustrate some schools, centers and institutes with strong connections to CABM and their placement within the greater university structure. CABM continues to bridge multiple units of Rutgers.

CABM researchers have run active research programs funded by federal and private sources and recognized by prestigious awards including four NIH MERIT awards, an NIH EUREKA grant, an NIH New Innovator award, numerous NSF and privately-endowed Young Investigator Awards, two HHMI investigators and an HHMI Faculty Scholar. CABM faculty members have also led large research projects including the NIH Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) NorthEast Structural Genomics (NESG) Consortium, the NIH Common Fund Protein Capture Reagents Project, and a NJ Autism Center of Excellence. CABM investigators have been successful in obtaining external research support from federal, state, foundation, and industrial sources with over $350 million awarded since the founding of CABM.

CABM faculty have made key discoveries including:

− structure of HIV reverse transcriptase and design of novel AIDS therapeutics
− molecular basis for late infantile Batten and Niemann Pick Type C2 diseases
− identification of an autism susceptibility gene
− computational NMR methods enabling analysis of protein structures
− structure of envelope proteins involved in HCV infection
− first structure representing the protein methyltransferase family
− cloning of the RNA capping enzyme
− RNA splicing mechanism for modulation of circadian rhythms
− identification of Nkx3.1 as a key tumor suppressor for prostate cancer

In 2016, the CABM was reviewed by the Rutgers Committee on Academic Planning and Review with input from an external committee of distinguished scientists. Based on this review, and its recognition of CABM’s historical contributions and current scientific excellence, Rutgers University has recommended new institutional investment in the CABM, including recruitment of a Permanent Director and new faculty recruitment.