Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB)

Cell and Molecular Biology encompasses study of the structure and function of organisms and biological processes at the level of cells, and the macromolecules that define them (DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates). Researchers in the CMB Group span many disciplines including Cancer Biology, Neurobiology, and Developmental Biology. Specific areas of research include:

  • Regulation of the cytoskeleton in cell and tissue shaping during brain development and disease.
  • Cell signaling in cancer development and progression.
  • Molecular genetic mechanisms of cell differentiation during plant reproduction.
  • Genetic mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Gene regulatory mechanisms governing development and regeneration of wiring in the nervous system.
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating neural crest and cranial placode development in normal and pathological situations.
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.

Our research employs many model systems including Arabidopsis, C. elegans, Xenopus laevis, zebrafish, rodents and mammalian cell culture. Experimental approaches utilize advanced light and electron microscopy, quantitative histology, CRISPR-mediated gene editing, genetic screening, genomic analyses, viral vector engineering and proteomic analyses.

Cell & Molecular Faculty

Nadège Gouignard
Assistant Professor
Developmental & Cell Biology








An Phu Tran Nguyen
Assistant Professor
Molecular Neurodegeneration

Christopher C. Quinn

Christopher Quinn
Associate Professor

Developmental Neurobiology





Dazhong Zhao
Molecular Genetics











Return to the Biological Sciences Home Page