Molecular and Cellular Biology (T32 GM007183)

Program DirectorsBen Glick and Phoebe Rice

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

Openings: 18 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
  • Bishop, Douglas: Meiotic recombination, breast cancer susceptibility genes in DNA repair
  • Carrillo, Robert: To understand the molecules and developmental programs that regulate neuronal development and wiring
  • Chen, Jueqi: Innate immune signaling pathways and their crosstalk with pathogenic microorganisms
  • Chervonsky, Alexander: Pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases; how T cells activate in disease pathogenesis, home and destroy target organs
  • 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
  • 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
  • Heckscher, Ellie: Development and function of motor circuits for a mechanistic understanding of the genetic basis of behavior
  • Horne-Badovinac, Sally: Epithelial morphogenesis and organ shape
  • Keenan, Robert: Structural biology, membrane protein biogenesis and directed protein evolution
  • Kossiakoff, Anthony: Protein engineering and design using x-ray crystallography, mutagenesis and peptide synthesis
  • Kovar, David: Biochemical mechanisms of actin filament assembly
  • Kratsios, Paschalis: Motor neuron development and disease
  • Kron, Stephen: Checkpoints, mitosis and cyclin-dependent kinases; technology for proteomics, drug discovery and systems biology
  • Kronforst, Marcus: Integrative genomics, population genetics, molecular and developmental biology, animal behavior, and field work
  • Lee, Heng-Chi: Small RNAs-medicated epigenetic regulation & genome surveillance
  • Light, Sam: The relationship between microbial metabolism and healthy/diseased states of the gut microbiota and exploiting these insights in the development of targeted therapies
  • Mendoza, Juan: Protein function relevant to human health and disease
  • Mimee, Mark: Synthetic biology to engineer the microbiome and exploring modification of commensal bacteria and bacteriophage for diagnostic and therapeutic applications
  • Missiakas, Dominique: Protein secretion pathways of Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis and their contribution to virulence
  • Moskowitz, Ivan: Molecular genetics of cardiovascular development and congenital heart disease
  • Mukherjee, Sampriti: How bacteria process sensory inputs to control individual and collective behaviors
  • Munro, Ed: Cytoskeletal dynamics; cell polarity; morphogenesis; computational modeling
  • Ozkan, Egin: Understanding the development and functioning of the nervous system through structural biology and biochemistry
  • 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
  • Pincus, David: System mechanics of cellular stress responses
  • 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
  • Ranganathan, Rama: Design principles that underlie structure, function, and adaptation in biological systems at the atomic to cellular scale.
  • Rebay, Ilaria: Transcriptional regulatory circuitries in development and disease; receptor tyrosine kinase signal transduction
  • Riesfenfeld, Samantha: Computational approaches to study the circuits that regulate gene expression and cellular function 
  • Rock, Ron: Molecular motors; cytoskeletal organization; single-molecule biophysics
  • 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
  • Sanders, Timothy:  Mechanisms that embryologic cell populations employ to pattern and instruct their environment
  • Schmidt-Ott, Urs: Molecular and genetic basis forevolution of embryo polarity, patterningand morphogenesis in Dipterans
  • 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
  • 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