Illinois logo MCB The Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Supriya Prasanth

Welcome

At the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, we study the mechanisms of how cells grow and divide, assemble and function to form multicellular organisms. Using multidisciplinary approaches, we investigate the fundamental biological questions relating to chromatin structure and dynamics; gene regulation; proteostatis; RNA biology; signal transduction in mammalian cell growth and differentiation; cytoskeletal organization and cell adhesion; mechanisms of cell determination, repair, regeneration and developmental patterning. Extensive collaboration with physicists, chemists and engineers have made it possible to investigate the internal workings of cells, and how cells respond to external cues. Our mission is to train and educate undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in the areas of modern molecular and cellular biology, cancer biology, developmental biology and neuro-cognitive sciences.

Supriya Prasanth, Head


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CDB News

Miniature biological robots are making greater strides than ever, thanks to the spinal cord directing their steps. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers developed the tiny walking “spinobots,” powered by rat muscle and spinal cord tissue on a soft, 3D-printed hydrogel skeleton. While previous generations of biological robots, or bio-bots, could move forward by simple muscle contraction, the integration of the spinal cord gives them a more natural walking rhythm, said study leader Martha Gillette, a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology.
Many epithelial tissues are classified as being squamous, cuboidal, or columnar based upon the height of their lateral membranes. CDB researchers Yuou Wang and Bill Brieher identified a protein known as CD2AP as a key factor necessary for building up the lateral membrane.