Cell & Developmental Biology

Cell & Developmental Biology Faculty

One of the greatest challenges facing biomedical research is to fully understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the process of development. The application of the powerful tools of genetics, combined with the techniques of modern cellular and molecular biology, has led to an explosion of interest in the study of development. Although modern technology has provided the tools necessary to solve many unanswered questions, progress in the field critically depends on a solid intellectual foundation that generates new questions and provides the broadly-based background necessary for interpreting the answers to these questions in both historical and modern contexts.

A major emphasis of the Cell and Developmental Biology area at UNMC is on the genes that control developmental events and interactions between developmentally important genes and their environment. Both transgenic and knockout mouse technologies are routinely used. Several physiological systems are under investigation. These include the hematopoietic and immune systems, the skeletal system, the cardiovascular system, and the nervous system.

Research Programs

Stem Cells in development:

  • Stem cells in the neural retina
  • Bone marrow stem cell regulation
  • Embryonic mesoderm stem cells
  • Regulation of neural crest cell fate

Gene - environmental interactions in development: (see also "Genetics")

  • Mechanism of folate-deficiency developmental defects
  • Teratogenic mechanisms of craniofacial, neural tube and cardiovascular defects

Mechanisms of development:

  • Function and evolution of homeobox genes
  • Developmental regulation of neurotransmitter systems ("see also Neuroscience")
  • Endocrine regulation of follicular development
  • The role of growth factors in ovarian cells
  • Cardiovascular development (see also "Cardiovascular Biology")