The focus of CEMC, initally funded as a FONDAP project (2002-2012), was the study of signal transduction mechanisms operating in normal cells and abnormal cells (pathological). The problems studied sought to understand the function of nerve cells, the action of hormones, 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.

Currently, the center seeks to expand upon these areas of research by emphasizing multidisciplinary interactions with clinical and epidemiological groups. Research efforts focus on chronic diseases of importance in Chile, stress signaling pathways in a variety of diseases and studies related to the process of aging and the development of neurological disorders. To this end, several new initiatives have recently received independent funding, including the Network for Metabolic Stress Signaling (NEMESIS) and the Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS). All these initiatives are supported by infrastructural and administrative services provided by CEMC. The center also provides a supportive framework for the genesis and execution of new research initiatives. In addition, CEMC continues the  mission of fostering collaborative interactions of high impact, advancing young scientist career development, promoting training of post-doctoral fellows and graduate students in an highly interactive environment, and assisting the local scientific community by providing access to facilities with cutting-edge equipment. A large number of established collaborations with scientific groups from Chile, Argentina, USA, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark aid in achieving all of these objectives.