Molecular and Cellular Biology (T32 GM007183)

Program DirectorsBen Glick and Phoebe Rice

Administrator: Catherine Will
Phone: 4-8344
Fax: 2-3172

Openings: 16 Predoctoral, 0 Postdoctoral

The Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) training program at the University of Chicago focuses on enabling graduate students to acquire the diverse skills needed for independent academic and/or research careers in the biomedical sciences. The core mission of the program is to train students to analyze biological processes using the conceptual and experimental tools of biochemistry and structural, molecular, and cellular biology. This mission is necessarily interdisciplinary in nature and represents a distinctive feature of the training program. The program has strong research foci in the following areas of molecular and cellular biology: biochemistry including macromolecular structure, protein and RNA folding and function, protein engineering and design, membrane structure and function, molecular dynamics and biophysical modeling, protein trafficking, organelle biogenesis, cell signaling, cell polarity and cell division, cell-cell interactions, control of gene expression and cell fate determination, chromosome structure, recombination, molecular aspects of oncogenesis, viral and bacterial pathogenesis, and immune cell development and function. An MCB trainee must take a Structural Biology course and a Quantitative Biology course, and can choose between one of two courses in Cell Biology and one of two courses in Molecular Biology. All trainees, both currently and previously funded, participate in and attend the "Research in Progress" seminar series.

Training Faculty:

  • Glick, Benjamin: Biogenesis of secretory pathway organelles, and directed evolution of fluorescent proteins
  • Rice, Phoebe: Structural biology and biochemistry of DNA recombination
  • Adams, Erin: Structure and biochemistry of proteins involved in immunological recognition
  • Arac-Ozkan, Demet: Understanding the mechanism by which adhesion-type G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) function in the brain
  • Bendelac, Albert: Biology of glycoliid antigen presentation to T lymphocytes
  • Bezanilla, Francisco: Dynamics of the molecular correlates of function in membrane transport proteins
  • Bishop, Douglas: Meiotic recombination, breast cancer susceptibility genes in DNA repair
  • Chervonsky, Alexander: Pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases; how T cells activate in disease pathogenesis, home and destroy target organs
  • Crosson, Sean: Deciphering the structure, function, and topology of microbial signaling systems
  • Dawson, Glyn: Lipid signalling pathways and programed cell death in brain and tumors; inherited lysosomal storage diseases
  • Drummond, Allan: Understanding the imprints that natural selection on fidelity and mis-folding leave on evolving genes and genomes
  • Du, Wei: RB family proteins in Drosophila and dissection of the RB pathway through genetic screens
  • Fehon, Richard: Regulation of epithelial polarity and proliferation during development
  • Fei, Jingyi: Quantitative biology of RNA
  • Ferguson, Edwin: Developmental genetics of cell fate specification and stem cell maintenance in Drosophila
  • Gack, Michaela: Cell-intrinsic mechanisms underlying the host innate immune response against viral infections
  • Gardel, Margaret: Cell adhesion and migration; cellular mechanics
  • Glotzer, Michael: The molecular mechanism of cytokinesis in animal cells
  • Godley, Lucy: Role of DNMT3B in mediating abnormal methylation patterns of cancer cells; defining molecular events that accompany unusual cases of hematopoietic malignancies
  • Golovkina, Tatyana: Retrovirus-host interactions; anti-virus immune response; resistance to retroviral infection; microbiota on viral infections
  • Greenberg, Jean: Plant defense mechanisms and bacterial pathogenesis
  • Greene, Geoffrey: Steroid hormone regulation of gene networks in reproductive tissues and cancers; nuclear receptors
  • Heckscher, Ellie: Development and function of motor circuits for a mechanistic understanding of the genetic basis of behavior
  • Ho, Robert: Axis and pattern formation in the zebrafish embryo
  • Horne-Badovinac, Sally: Epithelial morphogenesis and organ shape
  • Hwang, Seungmin: Role of autophagy pathway/proteins primarily in host-pathogen interaction
  • Keenan, Robert: Structural biology, membrane protein biogenesis and directed protein evolution
  • Kent, Stephen: Chemical protein synthesis; mechanism of enzyme catalysis
  • Kossiakoff, Anthony: Protein engineering and design using x-ray crystallography, mutagenesis and peptide synthesis
  • Kovar, David: Biochemical mechanisms of actin filament assembly
  • Kron, Stephen: Checkpoints, mitosis and cyclin-dependent kinases; technology for proteomics, drug discovery and systems biology
  • Lang, Deborah: Molecular and cellular biology of melanocyte stem cells and melanoma
  • Lee, Heng-Chi: Small RNAs-medicated epigenetic regulation & genome surveillance
  • Lee, Ka Yee C.: Interactions between lipids and proteins to understand respiratory distress syndrome and Alzheimer's disease
  • Li, Yan Chun: Functions of vitamin D using molecular, cellular and genetic approaches
  • Malamy, Jocelyn: Molecular regulation of root system growth and development in Arabidopsis and crop plants
  • Manicassamy, Balaji: Dynamic interplay between viral and host factors that govern pathogenicity and immunity, using influenza virus as a model pathogen
  • Meredith, Stephen: Amyloid fibril structural studies using solution and solid-state NMR, neutron and x-ray scattering
  • Missiakas, Dominique: Protein secretion pathways of Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis and their contribution to virulence
  • Moffat, Keith: Applications of synchrotron radiation in biophysics; time-resolved crystallography; light sensitive proteins
  • Moskowitz, Ivan: Molecular genetics of cardiovascular development and congenital heart disease
  • Munro, Ed: Cytoskeletal dynamics; cell polarity; morphogenesis; computational modeling
  • Pan, Tao: Functional genomics of tRNA; RNA epigenetics; RNA folding
  • Perozo, Eduardo: Structure and dynamics of ion channels and transporters
  • Piccirilli, Joseph: Chemistry/biochemistry of nucleic acids; structure and mechanism of ribozymes; bioorganic chemistry
  • Prince, Victoria: Pattern formation along the primary body axis of the Zebrafish embryo and other teleosts
  • Ragsdale, Clifton W.: Cellular and molecular control of brain nucleogenesis
  • Randall, Glenn: Roles of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Dengue virus host interactions in viral replication and pathogenesis
  • Rebay, Ilaria: Transcriptional regulatory circuitries in development and disease; receptor tyrosine kinase signal transduction
  • Rock, Ron: Molecular motors; cytoskeletal organization; single-molecule biophysics
  • Roos, Raymond: Central nervous system viral infections and neurodegenerative diseases; molecular understanding of pathogenesis
  • Roux, Benoit: Theoretical and computational studies of the structure, dynamics and function of biological macromolecular systems
  • Rust, Michael: Developing biophysical and biochemical tools to study biological systems to understand the robustness and adaptability of living cells in changing environments
  • Ruthenburg, Alex: Chromatin biochemistry, biophysics and chemical biology
  • Schneewind, Olaf: Mechanisms and strategies of bacterial pathogenesis and protein targeting
  • Schwartz, Nancy: Defects in proteoglycan synthesis associated with abnormal skeletal and brain development
  • Shuman, Howard: Cell biology, genomics and genetics of Legionella’s interactions with human and protist hosts
  • Sosnick, Tobin: Protein and RNA/ribozyme folding; biological structure and thermodynamics as basis for understanding function
  • Staley, Jonathan: Pre-mRNA splicing; non-coding RNA function, mechanism and regulation
  • Tang, Wei-Jen: cAMP-mediated signal transduction; anthrax pathogenesis
  • Thornton, Joe: Functional evolutionary genetics
  • Tirrell, Matthew: Biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology, specializing in the manipulation and measurement of the surface properties of polymers
  • Turkewitz, Aaron: Secretory granules; exocytosis and endocytosis; evolution of membrane traffic
  • Vander Griend, Donald: Stem cell maintenance and turnover, dependence upon androgen and the supporting stroma, and molecular events driving prostate carcinogenesis 
  • Wu, Xiaoyang: Role of cytoskeletal dynamics in transmitting the niche signals to regulate skin somatic stem cell activity and functions
  • Zhao, Minglei: Structure and mechanism of biomolecules using biochemical and biophysical approaches
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