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UConn Health Department of Cell Biology

Research in the Department of Cell Biology is concerned with cells as well as how cells function in the context of the various tissues of the body. Our goal is to discover molecular and physiological mechanisms that underlie the treatment and prevention of human disease.

The department faculty participate in the teaching of the Human Systems and the Correlated Medical Problem Solving (CMPS) courses for first year medical and dental students, and the Logic of Cell Biology course for graduate students. Several faculty are also contributors to medical / and dental student textbooks.

The core of the department consists of former members of the Department of Physiology, which was chaired by Richard D. Berlin for over 30 years. In recent years, he oversaw the change to Cell Biology, the addition of members from the former Departments of Pharmacology and Anatomy, and the formation of the Center for Vascular Biology (Linda Shapiro, Director) and the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (Leslie Loew, Director). The Department of Cell Biology is also the academic home for basic science faculty members in the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center (Bruce Liang, Director) and the Center for Quantitative Medicine (Reinhard Laubenbacher, Director). The department organizes the annual Richard D. Berlin lecture.

Department Activities

Department News

Cover of Cell

On the cover! In the July 18, 2013 issue of Cell, Terasaki et al. (pp. 285–296) explain how parallel sheets of endoplasmic reticulum are connected. The existence of these sheet stacks and their function in synthesis of membrane and secreted proteins has been known for more than 60 years. Three-dimensional reconstructions from serial section electron micrographs from mouse salivary gland show that the sheets are connected by twisted membrane surfaces with helical edges. The overall structure resembles a parking garage, in which the different levels are connected by helicoidal ramps. Theoretical calculations show that this structure minimizes the elastic energy of sheet edges and surfaces and allows dense packing of this organelle in the restricted space of a cell.

Seminars 2016

  • June 9, 2016
    Hideyuki Oguro, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, "Activation of hematopoietic stem cells by systemic signals."
  • May 11, 2016
    Melissa Rolls, Pennsylvania State University, "Microtubule organization in axons versus dendrites."
  • April 26, 2016
    Yanxun Yu, Brandeis University, MA.  "From sensation to adaptation: new insights into thermosensation and thermal acclimation."
  • March 29, 2016
    Mayu Inaba, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  "Asymmetric stem cell division in Drosophila germline stem cells."
  • February 3, 2016
    Elyse Donaubauer, Washington State University. "Phospho-regulation of Y-Box binding protein 1 (YB1) in response to FSH stimulation in ovarian granulosa  cells promotes induction of ERK-dependant target genes."
  • January 29, 2016
    Justin Cotney, UCHC. “Functional Genomics Approaches to Understand Human Development, Evolution, and Disease”. Joint seminar with the Skeletal Biology and Regeneration Graduate Program.
  • January 22, 2016
    Alexei Evsikov, Morsani College of Medicine, USF Health, University of South Florida. “Emerging genetic networks in mammalian egg-to-embryo transition.”
  • January 19, 2016
    Maria Rubio, University of Pittsburgh. "Target- and input-dependent organization of AMPA and NMDA receptors in synaptic connections of the cochlear nucleus." Joint seminar with the Department of Neuroscience.
  • January 13, 2016
    Evan Smoak, University of Pennsylvania. "Transgenerational Inheritance of Centromere Identity in the Mammalian Oocyte."


Past Seminars