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 2016!  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!

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CBP Video

Mohanish Interview
Natasha Snyder
Recent News
Lorenzo Lab research published in PNAS
An article by Dr. Damaris Lorenzo in collaboration with her postdoctoral advisor Dr. Vann Bennett at Duke University titled “Cell-autonomous adiposity through increased cell surface GLUT4 due to ankyrin-B deficiency” was published this week ahead of print in PNAS. In this study, Dr. Lorenzo shows that mice lacking the cytoskeleton-associated protein ankyrin-B only in adipose tissue become obese despite having normal appetite and physical activity levels. Using cellular essays, the study also shows that novel human mutations in the ankyrin-B gene also leads to cell-autonomous adiposity. Nov 14, 2017
Erica Cloer successfully defends dissertation
Congratulations to Erica Cloer for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Molecular mechanisms of patient-derived KEAP1 superbinder mutants". Nov 13, 2017
Brooke Matson successfully defends dissertation
A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Brooke Matson for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Molecular Regulators of Embryo Implantation and Pregnancy". Way to go, Dr. Matson!! Nov 06, 2017
Welcome our newest CBP Assistant Professor, Dr. Sarah Cohen!
Dr. Cohen has developed state-of-the-art, super-resolution spectral imaging technologies to simultaneously label and track the position of 6 different cellular organelles in real time. In doing so, she has characterized a new cell organelle called a lipid droplet. In her future work, she hopes to use these techniques to address how lipid droplets from glia and astrocytes can be used to transfer lipids to neurons. This is an important question because neurons cannot synthesize their own lipids, but yet are dependent on huge amounts of lipids to extend lengthy neuronal processes and regulate membrane turnover at synaptic terminals. Oct 27, 2017
Departmental Seminar: Avital Rodal, PhD Nov 20, 2017 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Departmental Seminar: Kristy Red-Horse, PhD Dec 11, 2017 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Departmental Seminar: Darrell N. Kotton, MD Dec 18, 2017 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Departmental Seminar: Cagla Eroglu, PhD Jan 08, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
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