Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
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.