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Top blue bar image Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology

Cell & Developmental Biology


The laboratories in this group are engaged in the study of the structure, function and development of cells and tissues.  Our research interests range from investigations of the structure and function of individual proteins and the assembly of cellular membranes and organelles, to the molecular mechanisms of interactions between cells and between organisms and their environment.  Our research methodologies cover a broad spectrum of techniques and experimental approaches, employ state-of-the-art instrumentation for biological imaging and protein structure analysis, and utilize the advantages of a variety of model genetic organisms such as yeast, nematodes, plants, fruit flies and zebrafish.  Collaborative activity within this group creates a lively and productive research environment and provides comprehensive training opportunities.

Alkylglycerone phosphate synthase (AGPS) localization
in COS7 cells from the McNew lab.


Faculty links:

Bonnie Bartel:  Molecular genetic studies of peroxisome biogenesis and functions in Arabidopsis; roles of auxin precursors in plant growth and development (lab home page).

Kathleen M. Beckingham:  Molecular genetic studies of calcium sensor proteins and gravitaxic signaling.

Janet Braam:  Regulation and functions of calcium sensor proteins and cell wall modifying enzymes in plant growth and responses to the environment (lab home page).

Daniel Carson:  Expression and function of cell surface components involved in embryonic development and tumor cell models. Study of the heparan sulfate proteoglycan perlecan.

Pamela Constantinou: The role of extracellular matrix in the progression of cancer; the use of proteoglycans in the engineering of connective tissues.

Mary C. (Cindy) Farach-Carson:  The role of extracellular matrix in the progression of cancer; the use of proteoglycans in the engineering of connective tissues.

Michael C. Gustin:  Molecular genetics of signal transduction pathways mediating stress-induced transcriptional responses in yeast and Drosophila.

Dmitri Lapotko:  Mechanical effects of transient plasmonic nanobubbles at cellular and molecular levels, applications of plasmonic nanobubbles for diagnosis and treatment of malaria, cancer and other dangerous diseases at cell level, target cell-specific methods for gene and drug delivery (Lapotko lab home page).

Peter Lwigale :  Molecular regulation of corneal development; Neural crest differentiation, corneal innervation and avascularity; fetal wound regeneration (lab home page).

Studies of avian corneal development in the Lwigale Lab.

James A. McNew:   Molecular mechanism of biological membrane fusion; membrane protein expression and reconstitution, intracellular vesicular transport; functional reconstitution of exocytosis; role of SNARE proteins in yeast sporulation and cytokinesis; analysis of cell-cell fusion (lab home page).

Representative transmission electron
micrographs of cross-sections of peripheral
nerves from Drosophila larvae (Stern)

Michael Stern:  Signalling mechanisms regulating the timing of the Drosophila larval metamorphosis.

Charles R. Stewart:  Bacteriophage molecular genetics:  mechanisms of host-takeover during bacteriophage infection; mechanisms of bactericidal gene action.

Daniel Wagner:  Analysis of early development of the zebrafish embryo to determine the mechanisms responsible for the control and execution of vertebrate morphogenetic movements.

Weiwei Zhong :  Using the nematode C. elegans as a model to decipher gene interaction networks regulating development and behavior (lab  home page).