The Department of Cell Biology is home to an exciting group of faculty, post-doctoral scientists and students addressing fascinating questions about the nature of biological complexity – how molecular, subcellular, cellular and multicellular events are integrated and ordered over time to assemble and maintain specialized tissues, organs and whole organisms. We work to promote multidisciplinary collaborative research and fundamental discovery in all areas of cell and developmental biology, and to inspire the translation of these new advances toward improving human health.
Dr. Judith White, professor emeritus in the School of Medicine, is part of an international team that developed a framework for speeding the development of drugs to battle pandemics. The “proactive drug development strategy” could also offer a first line of defense against future pandemics, the researchers say.
Many organisms lose regenerative capacity as they progress through development, which often correlates with changes in hormone signals. Dr. Karanja and colleagues demonstrated that different concentrations of the steroid hormone ecdysone produce distinct responses in regenerating Drosophila melanogaster tissues. At low circulating concentrations, ecdysone promotes regenerative activity in damaged tissues. Whereas, at higher levels, ecdysone suppresses regeneration. This biphasic response to hormone signaling helps explains how hormone signals coordinate regeneration with developmental transitions.
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