Department of Cell Biology and Physiology

Message From Our Chair

Kathleen Caron

Welcome to the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where our mission is to be nationally recognized for excellence in our discipline by Leading, Teaching and Caring

LeadingWe conduct cutting-edge, innovative research that advances the discipline of cell biology and physiology, with an emphasis on topics that contribute to the improvement of human health.  The UNC-CH Department of Cell Biology and Physiology is nationally-recognized and ranked #2 in the country for our level of NIH funding in 2017!  The Department comprises over 35 basic science laboratories dedicated to integrative research in areas related to neuroscience, cardiovascular development and disease, cell motility, cellular cytoskeleton and intracellular trafficking, gastrointestinal biology, cellular mechanisms of aging and cancer biology.  I encourage you to browse our website, which highlights each individual faculty research program.  Our faculty, trainees and staff benefit from robust partnerships with numerous Centers across campus including the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, McAllister Heart Institute, Marsico Lung Institute and Thurston Arthritis Research Center, to name a few. 

TeachingWe provide a rigorous and competitive educational experience for a diverse population of graduate and professional trainees which enables them to succeed in their future careers. The Department has a long tradition of successfully training the next generation of scientists.  Our newly-launched Curriculum in Cell Biology and Physiology offers an integrated training program for PhD students.  In addition, the Department is home to a multitude of undergraduate, medical and clinical fellow trainees who are seeking avenues for intellectually-engaging and creative research experiences. Research scientists who train in the discipline of cell biology and physiology will benefit from being able to synergize their training from several vantage points.  For example, the development of sophisticated genetic engineering tools enables us to test focused hypotheses on the multi-cellular diversity of organs and their cellular compositions.  Likewise, these same genetic techniques, coupled with the ability to image cell behavior at unprecedented resolution and the application of “-omics” approaches, permits a broader exploration into how cells sense and respond to their environments, either within an organ or in response to different pathophysiological conditions. In these ways, research trainees in our Department can capitalize on rapid technological advances and successfully apply their findings to inform the fundamental processes of normal and pathological physiology and cell biological behaviors.

CaringWe serve the people of North Carolina, the United States and the international community, by excelling in our research and educational missions thereby promoting the health and well-being of individuals and communities locally, nationally and internationally. The Department of Cell Biology and Physiology has a strong commitment to fostering an environment of inclusion, diversity and wellness within the workplace, which lays the foundation for collaborative partnerships and creative exploration.  We provide award-wining mentoring and professional development activities for individuals at all career stages.  Our faculty and trainees actively participate in local and national service, giving back to our communities.

It is an exciting time for the Department, with six new faculty hires, the launch of our state-of-the-art Hooker Imaging Core Facility and remarkable accolades and recognition of our distinguished faculty and trainees. I hope that you will enjoy exploring our research and educational programs, and encourage you to contact us if you would like to join and support our missions. 

We Are Proud to Announce..


The Hooker Imaging Core is NOW OPEN!

HIC logo



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Recent News
Temperance Rowell successfully defends dissertation
CONGRATUATIONS to Temperance Rowell for successfully defending her dissertation entitled “Proof in the Pudding: Flavor-Dependent Effects of E-cigarettes on Lung Epithelial Toxicityand Ca2+ Signaling”. Way to go Dr. Rowell!! Apr 09, 2018
Jimena Giudice receives a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation
The mission of the March of Dimes Foundation is to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards support junior scientists just embarking on their independent research careers. This award ($150,000) will provide Jimena Giudice and her lab team with funding for two years to study the role of alternative splicing regulation in the development of muscles after birth. Apr 03, 2018
Tarran lab research featured in Vital Signs
UNC School of Medicine scientists led by Robert Tarran created a new screening technique to deduce the different toxicity levels of the more than 7,700 types of e-liquid flavors available to consumers. Apr 02, 2018
Carlos Patino Descovich inducted into the Frank Porter Graham Honor Society
CBP Graduate Student, Carlos Patino Descovich (Scott Williams Lab), was inducted into the Frank Porter Graham Honor Society for 2018. The Honor Society is an elite group of faculty and graduate students who are recognized for their service to the community. Congratulations Carlos! Mar 28, 2018
Departmental Seminar: Garret Stuber, PhD Apr 23, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Fusion Seminar: Karel Alcedo and Natalie Nielsen Apr 30, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Gottschalk Lecture: Benjamin D. Humphreys, MD, PhD May 07, 2018 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM — G202 MBRB
Fusion Seminar: Kshitij Sharma and Fabio Urbina May 14, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
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