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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 first year medical and dental student curriculum, and the Foundations of Biomedical Science course for graduate students. Several faculty are also contributors to medical 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

Coming soon! Mayu Inaba will  be joining the Cell Biology Department in spring 2017, as an assistant professor. Her research concerns signaling between adult stem cells and the specialized microenvironments, called niches, that maintain stem cells in an undifferentiated and self-renewing state. In a recent paper (Nature, 2015; 523: 329-332), Inaba and colleagues demonstrated that microtubule-based nanotubes, which extend from stem cells into the cells of the niche, contribute to the short-range nature of this signaling. This image shows a 3D reconstruction of a Drosophila testicular niche, illustrating how microtubule nanotubes (green) penetrate into neighboring niche cells (red). 

Seminars 2016

  • October 21, 2016
    Jan Ellenberg, European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg, Germany, "Imaging the assembly of protein complexes and the dynamics of protein"
  • September 14, 2016
    Paul Robson and Leah Kaye, Jackson Laboratory, "Evolution and Development of the Human Primitive Syncytium: Determining the impact of the emergence of chorionic gonadotropin on FSH, LH, and TSH using a humanized mouse."
  • 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, UConn Health. “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