University of Nebraska Medical Center

Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology Research Areas

The Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology doctoral program seeks to train students to conduct rigorous and interdisciplinary research focused on understanding the cellular, molecular and genetic basis of normal development as well as disease pathogenesis. The program is designed to prepare students for careers as independent biomedical scientists and educators.

More than 70 faculty members from 12 different departments and/or institutes participate in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology. Thus, the program offers students that opportunity to explore a wide range of research disciplines and approaches.

The program leverages the broad expertise of participating faculty to provide rigorous interdisciplinary training in the broad areas of molecular genetics and cell biology. The Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology doctoral program seeks to provide a challenging, collaborative, supportive and enthusiastic training environment for students.

Research in the Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology doctoral program is strongly supported by the robust research resources infrastructure at UNMC and state of the art instrumentation. These resources include the Mouse Genome Engineering Facility for generation of knockout and transgenic mouse models, the Next Generation Sequencing Core for whole genome, whole exome or RNASeq analysis, the Confocal Microscopy Core, the Tissue Science Facility, the Flow Cytometry Research Facility, the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Facility, the Bioimaging Core, and many others.

Research Interests

Genetics of Human Disease

  • Linkage analysis, association studies and positional cloning
  • Identification and characterization of genes that impact risk of cancer, hearing loss, learning disabilities and hyperactivity
  • Development of animal models of human genetic disease

Cancer Cell Biology & Genetics

  • Bioinformatic and genomic analysis of somatic mutations, epigenetic changes and transcriptomic changes associated with cancer
  • Dissection of molecular mechanisms of cancer driver genes and mutations

Developmental Biology

  • Mechanisms of skeletal, neurosensory systems development
  • Hematopoiesis and immune system development
  • Regulation of mammary gland and ovarian follicle development

Stem Cells in Disease and Development

  • Cancer stem cells
  • Tissue regeneration and iPS cells
  • Regulation of hematopoietic and other normal stem cells

Fundamental Cellular Processes

  • DNA replication and repair
  • Epigenetics
  • Endocytosis