Credit: Teisha Rowland

MCDB faculty members in developmental biology investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the differentiation of cells, the formation of tissues, and the development of organs and organisms. Research programs cover a broad range of developmental events in a variety of model systems, ranging from unicellular organisms to invertebrates, plants, flies, worms, rodents and humans. Topics include signal transduction in fertilization and organogenesis; molecular dynamics of neuronal differentiation, plasticity, and degeneration; and genetics and genomics of cell growth and programmed cell death. Stem cell research programs investigate the roles of adult and embryonic stem cells in normal development, as well as their potential in regenerative therapies for kidney disease, eye disorders, and neural degeneration. Interdisciplinary collaborations stimulate novel approaches that combine state of the art technologies from molecular biology, bioinformatics, and bioengineering. Interactions among groups, seminars, journal clubs, and courses in developmental and stem cell biology proved a rich and supportive environment for learning and discovery.

Affiliated Faculty

Professor, Wilcox Family Chair in BioMedicine
Human stem cell research; Molecular mechanisms of stem cell differentiation; Derivation of ocular cells from stem cells; Soft tissue regeneration.
Molecular mechanisms of self/non-self recognition in non-vertebrates; characterization of stem cells and development processes underlying regeneration and aging.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Neuronal Development; Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Diseases; Structure, Function and Regulation of the Microtubule Associated Protein, Tau; Cytoskeletal Regulation.
Faculty Graduate Advisor
Molecular genetics of plant development; analysis of abscisic acid signaling networks.
Professor Emeriti
Our research mission is to understand the molecular basis of gamete recognition and the fine tuning of one time only cellular activation events.
Associate Teaching Professor
Discipline Based Educational Research. Effect of pedagogical strategies and course structures on student success. Mentoring and learning communities as responses to education disparities.
Harriman Professor of Neuroscience
Neural plasticity including the molecular basis of plasticity, the evolution of synapses, and disease-related impairments of plasticity such as occurs in Alzheimer's disease.
Duggan Professor and Distinguished Professor
Combination of molecular, genetic, and state-of-the-art imaging approaches to define and solve fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology with implications for neurodegenerative disease, ischemic diseases and cancer.
Research Professor
Professor Emeritus
Tetrahymena genetics and genomics; genetic, physical and sequence mapping of the germline and expressed genomes of the unicellular eukaryote, Tetrahymena thermophila.
Professor Emeritus
Collaboration with the Low and Hayes labs on contact-dependent growth inhibition systems in bacteria.
Assistant Professor
We investigate DNA repair mechanisms and use this knowledge to improve gene editing.
Distinguished Professor
Wilcox Family Chair in Biotechnology
Director, Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program
Regulation of development and differentiation; regulation of programmed cell death and cell division; mechanisms of tumorigenesis.
Developmental genetics and morphogenesis of the primitive chordate Ciona.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Studies the self-renewal and pluripotency of stem cells.
Investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and related renal diseases. Membrane trafficking and epithelial cell polarity.
Assistant Professor
Combines tools from Biology, Engineering, and Physics to understand the cell’s perceptual field.