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
laboratory (Cell and Developmental Biology
delineates a molecular chaperone-dependent mechanism for selectively mobilizing gene loci through the nuclear actin matrix. Their findings were published in Developmental Cell.
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.
Epithelial cells use an adhesion molecule known as E-cadherin to help build extensive cell-cell adhesive contacts leading to cohesive sheets of cells that separate two different environments. But what happens if the adhesive bonds holding the cells together fail? CDB researchers John Li, Vivian Tang
, and Bill Brieher
discovered an actin dependent repair mechanism that operates continuously in epithelial cells to fix broken adhesive contacts.
ChBE professor Hyunjoon (Joon) Kong recently received two grants from the NSF to fund interdisciplinary research at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, including a look at how neurons and muscle cells communicate with each other and also to develop a drug delivery system for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He will be collaborating with Martha Gillette
(professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
) and Hee Jung Chung
(associate professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology