The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all uni- and multicellular life and exhibits fascinating complexity and organization. Remarkable advances in optical microscopy and live cell imaging now make it possible to probe complex processes from the molecular to subcellular and from single cells to tissues. Combined with traditional genetics, powerful gene-editing technologies and genome-level analyses, the cell biologist now has an unprecedented set of tools available to probe mechanistic underpinnings of biological processes. Research at UVA features rich and diverse training in modern Cell Biology from a creative and internationally-recognized faculty. Research in Cell Biology employs the latest cellular, molecular, biophysical, and microscopic technologies, including engineered mutant mice, Drosophila, Xenopus, C. elegans, and Zebrafish. At the individual cell level, we specialize in exploring intracellular transport, organelle dynamics, cell compartmentalization, cytoskeleton, and signaling in the context of complex cellular behaviors, such as mitosis, cell adhesion, motility, mechanotransduction, and cell polarity. Training in cell biology forms the basis not only for making new discoveries into the fundamental mechanisms of how proteins function in cellular contexts, and their relationship to cell division, differentiation and morphogenesis, but also for understanding and exploring the links to human diseases where the fundamental processes of cytoskeletal dynamics, signal transduction, mitosis, cell adhesion, motility, mechanotransduction, and polarity go awry. These studies thus create opportunities to address fundamental mechanisms of diseases, including cancer, birth defects, cognitive impairment, and tissue degeneration.
Spatiotemporal Regulation of Biological Signaling; Protein Engineering for Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics
Matrix Biology and Engineering
Cell-Surface Glycoprotein Dynamics and Cell Locomotion
Pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders
Role of Arf family GTPases in vesicular transport and cytoskeleton assembly.
Cell Biology of bacterial pathogenesis.
The innate immune response to bacterial infection.
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of Neisserial pathogenesis
Elucidating and Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Nervous System Development
Ion channels and Ca2+-signaling in inflammation, immunity and tissue homeostasis
Cell Adhesion and Adhesion-Dependent Cell Signaling in Vertebrate Morphogenesis
Neural Development; Cell Division in Neural Stem Cells; Axon Outgrowth and Guidance
Mechanisms of Genetic and Metabolic Adaptation in the Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium falciparum
Morphogenesis of the Developing Wolffian/Epididymal duct
Understanding Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms Leading to Blood Vessel Formation
The Role of Mitochondrial Fusion and Fission in Tumorigenesis.
Insulin signaling, insulin-regulated membrane trafficking and associated changes in cellular function and whole body physiology
Architecture and function of biological membranes
Regulation of Polarized Morphogenesis
The role of glia in the development, maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system
Human disease modeling, Quantitative cell biology, Organelle biology, Cell architecture, Cilia, Advanced light and electron microscopy
Role of Prosecretory Mitogen 'Lacritin' in Epithelial Homeostasis, Secretion and Innate Defense
Developmental regulation of planar cell polarity in the mammalian nervous system
Regulation and function of tyrosine phosphorylation in complex networks
Obesity and Aging
Developmental Genetics, Evolution and Regeneration of Adult Morphology in Vertebrates
Nuclear Transport in Chromatin Assembly and Transcriptional Regulation
Apoptotic cell clearance mechanisms in health and disease
Chromosome segregation and aneuploidy in meiosis and mitosis
Assembly and Plasticity of Neural Circuits
Mechanisms of actin assembly during cell migration and membrane traffic
Regulation of neural stem cell proliferation during development and adulthood
Mechanisms of chromosome segregation in Mitosis and generation of Chromosomal Instability in tumors
Cell behavior and morphogenesis during early mouse development.
Biomembrane Structure and Function; Cell Entry of Enveloped Viruses; Neurosecretion by Exocytosis; Structure of Bacterial Pathogen Membrane Proteins; Lipid-Protein Interactions
Molecular control of embryonic development
Molecular Mechanisms of Early Vertebrate Development and Morphogenesis. Application to Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
How Viruses, Particularly Papillomaviruses, Can Cause Cancer
Endosomal function and dysfunction in neurons. Development of the nervous system: cytoskeleton and membrane traffic in axon and dendrite growth.
Regulation of Gene Expression, Development and Tumor Progression by TGF beta Signaling
Mammalian kidney development
Mechanisms of Huntington's Disease Pathogenesis
Early detection, cancer prevention, and tumor microenvironment