Research in Cell Biology and Developmental Biology at UVA features rich and diverse training in modern Cell and Developmental Biology from a creative and internationally-recognized faculty. These programs highlight cutting-edge ongoing research that addresses fundamental problems directed at both cellular (membrane and cytoskeletal dynamics, signal transduction, mitosis, cell adhesion, motility, mechanotransduction, polarity) and higher-levels of biological organization to include embryonic patterning, morphogenetic movements, tissue morphogenesis and repair. These areas of interest are being pursued in a variety of biological contexts that include cell culture models, tissues, and embryos, with profound relevance to disease mechanisms.
Research in all of these areas employ the latest cellular, molecular, biophysical, and microscopic technologies. Studies employing engineered mutant mice, Drosophila, Xenopus, and Zebrafish offer a range of venues for investigating fundamental mechanisms in how proteins function in cellular contexts, their relationship to cell division, differentiation into diverse cell types, morphogenesis at the cellular and multicellular levels, and the integration across cells and tissues. Training in cell and developmental biology forms the basis not only for making fundamental new discoveries, 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.
The graduate program in Cell and Developmental Biology fosters a culture of collaboration that extends beyond any single department. Students commonly participate in institution-wide training programs in cancer biology, cell biology and molecular biology, biotechnology, and cardiovascular research which are funded by NIH training grants. The collegial and highly interactive learning environment incorporates seminars, journal clubs, colloquia, and research-in-progress presentations by students, postdocs, and faculty.