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Research in the Department of Cell Biology is concerned with cells as well as how cells function in the context of the various tissues of the body. Our goal is to discover molecular and physiological mechanisms that underlie the treatment and prevention of human disease.

The department faculty participate in the first year medical and dental student curriculum, and the Foundations of Biomedical Science course for graduate students. Several faculty are also contributors to medical student textbooks.

The core of the department consists of former members of the Department of Physiology, which was chaired by Richard D. Berlin for over 30 years. In recent years, he oversaw the change to Cell Biology, the addition of members from the former Departments of Pharmacology and Anatomy, and the formation of the Center for Vascular Biology (Linda Shapiro, Director) and the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (Pedro Mendes, Director). The Department of Cell Biology is also the academic home for basic science faculty members in the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center (Bruce Liang, Director) and the Center for Quantitative Medicine (Pedro Mendes, Director). The department organizes the annual Richard D. Berlin lecture.

Cell Biology Retreat

Retreat photo

Cell Biology and Vascular Biology, 2017 retreat at the Pond House (photo by Charan Devarakonda)

Department News

New Faculty: Rebecca Page

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SDS22 (left) binds PP1 (right) and maintains it in a fully inactive state until holoenzyme formation, preventing unregulated dephosphorylation by PP1.

Rebecca Page joined the Cell Biology Department in December 2020, as a full professor. Her research concerns how we sense and react to our environment which is communicated in the cell by vast networks of highly dynamic, interacting proteins. These interactions are regulated in both space and time, and it is this tight regulation that allows signals from outside of the cell to be rapidly and precisely transmitted to the nucleus leading to the appropriate, and healthy, cellular response. We integrate structural biology, cell biology, genetics and biochemistry in order to understand how these signals in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes are communicated in the cell at atomic resolution.

Seminars 2021

March 17, 2021
Alexandra Naba, University of Illinois at Chicago. "Exploring the roles of the extracellular matrix in health and disease using proteomics"(Murphy, Host). WebEx.

March 31, 2021
Tim O'Connell, University of Minnesota. “Novel alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist without cardiovascular side-effects for the treatment of hypertension” (Dodge-Kafka, Host). WebEx.

October 13, 2021
Georgia Zarkada, Yale School of Medicine. “Endothelial cell heterogeneity during sprouting angiogenesis” (Shapiro, Host). WebEx.

October 20, 2021
Ching Lau, Jax and Connecticut Children's Medical Center. “Developing precision medicine for pediatric cancers: challenges and opportunities.” (Smilowitz, Host).

Past Seminars