and Developmental Biology
the fundamental units of life in our planet. They are the vehicles for the
genetic information that defines each biological species on earth. Guided by
this genetic information, the complex molecular machinery within cells
orchestrates the acquisition of nutrients and information from the environment,
cellular replication, and assembly into complex tissues and organisms. Our goal
in studying cell and developmental biology is to understand how cells are
constructed, how they accomplish their specific tasks, and how they assemble and
cooperate with each other. This is an extremely exciting and important area of
investigation, because it situated at the center of all current efforts to
understand biology. Laboratories within this area in CBMG and affiliated
departments/institutes study cell and developmental processes using single- and
multi-celled model systems, including bacteria, cultured mammalian cells, fruit
flies, plants, and fish. The interests of faculty in this area include membrane
traffic and organelle biogenesis, mechanisms of signal transduction, cellular
differentiation, cell-cell interactions and plant and animal development.
Experimental approaches include light and electron microscopy, molecular
biology, bioinformatics and computational biology, and biochemistry. Resources
available for cell biological study within CBMG include state-of-the-art
confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, proteomics, and genomics facilities.
The graduate program in the Cell and Developmental Biology specialization is
designed to teach students to think critically, communicate effectively, and
develop the research skills required for a successful career as an independent
scientist. Both M.S. and Ph.D. students in this specialization follow the
first-year program for all entering CBMG graduate students, including core
courses, lab rotations, and seminars. After the first year, an advisory
committee helps each student to choose the advanced courses that are appropriate
for the student's research plans and career objectives. The Admission to
Candidacy Exam, in the third year, gives students the opportunity to defend the
objectives and intellectual foundations of their dissertation research and to
demonstrate an understanding of contemporary cell and developmental biology.
Subsequent to this exam, students focus almost entirely on their research.
In addition, graduate students have a good opportunity to improve their
communication and interaction skills by serving as teaching assistants for two
semesters, as well as by presenting journal papers and their research in formal
and informal settings throughout their graduate training. The vast majority of
our graduates move on to successful careers in universities, research
institutions, or biotechnology companies.
Graduate Courses in Cell and
Biology I, Structure and Function (Song)
Biology II, Signal Transduction (Kwak)
Development and Physiology I (Sze)
Development and Physiology II (Liu)
in Microscopy (Wolniak)
and Host Defense (Mosser & Frauwirth)
Pathogenesis (Briken & Gao)
Journal Clubs: Plant Cell Biology (Kwak); Host Pathogen Interactions
Several other departments on the campus offer advanced courses that may be
relevant to the research interests of students in this specialization.
Faculty in Cell and Developmental Biology
Ibrahim Z. Ades, Affiliate Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 1976. Cancer biology and
Norma Andrews, Professor and Chairman
Ph.D. University of Sao Paulo, Brazil 1983. Molecular strategies used by
intracellular pathogens to subvert host cell function, and membrane traffic
events involved in the repair of injured plasma membrane.
Caren Chang, Associate Chair and Associate Professor
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1988. Signal transduction and
hormonal signaling in Arabidopsis.
Marco Colombini, Affiliate Professor
Ph.D., McGill University, 1974. Structure and mode of action of membrane
transport systems; molecular basis for voltage control of channel-forming
Todd Cooke, Professor
Ph.D. Cornell University, 1979. Plant morphogenesis; development processes in
lower vascular plants; origins of biological form.
Kenneth Frauwirth, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California-Berkeley. T cell activation and peripheral
tolerance mechanisms; regulation of lymphocyte metabolism.
Eric O. Freed, Adjunct Associate Professor,
Chief, Virus-Cell Interaction Section-NIH
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990. Molecular biology of HIV-1
replication; retrovirus assembly and release.
Elisabeth Gantt, Emerita Professor
Ph.D. Northwestern University, 1958. Cell biology of the photosynthetic
apparatus and accessory pigments; physiology of algae.
William Jeffery, Affiliate Professor
Ph.D. University of Iowa, 1971. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of sensory
organ development; evolution of development.
June Kwak, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Pohang University of Science and Technology, 1997. Guard cell ABA and
Ca2+ signal transduction/Single cell-type functional genomics.
Vincent Lee, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California - Los Angles, 2000. Host-pathogen interactions,
Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Allosteric
regulation of molecular complexes.
Zhongchi Liu, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1990. Flower development in Arabidopsis.
Ian Mather, Affiliate Professor
Ph.D. University College of North Wales, 1971. Expression and function of
David Mosser, Professor
Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1983. Cell and molecular biology of
macrophages and dendritic cells; regulation of cytokine gene expression; host
defense response to intracellular pathogens.
Stephen Mount, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Yale University, 1983. Selection of splice sites in pre-mRNA splicing.
Leslie Pick, Affiliate Associate Professor
Ph.D. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y., 1986. Embryonic
development, evolution and axon guidance in Drosophila.
Wenxia Song, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1991. Antigen transport and signal transduction
functions of the B cell antigen receptor.
Daniel C. Stein, Professor
Ph.D. University of Rochester, 1981. Molecular genetics; virulence mechanisms of
pathogenic bacteria; Characterization of DNA Restriction and Modification
Richard Stewart, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1984. Molecular biology of sensory systems and
motility in bacteria.
Heven Sze, Professor
Ph.D. Purdue University, 1975. Membrane structure, function, and biogenesis;
regulation of solute transport; bioenergetics; proton and calcium-pumping
ATPases in plants.
Stephen Wolniak, Professor
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1979.
Cell motility and gametogenesis. Mechanisms involved in cell fate