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!

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Recent News
Diering Lab technician, Bradley Allf, won 1st place for 5 minute video contest
Bradley Allf won 1st place for his 5 min video describing the Diering Lab's research for a video competition called "Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Video Contest" Sep 26, 2018
Caron Lab Finds New Drug Targets
UNC School of Medicine researchers show how a rare gene defect disrupts an important interaction between proteins, including cellular receptors crucial to cell function and human health. Sep 11, 2018
Edward Bahnson, Ph.D., Honored with Young Investigator Award
We would like to congratulate Edward Bahnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, and Department of Cell Biology and Physiology for winning a Young Investigator Award at the 19th biennial meeting for the Society for Free Radical Research International (SFRRI), held in Lisbon Congress Centre, Lisbon, Portugal, 4-7 June 2018, for his talk on “Improving Arterial Surgery Outcomes: Combating Restenosis with Nanotechnology and Redox Modulation.” SFRRI Lisboa 2018 was a prominent forum for the latest advances in the fundamentals of Redox Biology and Free Radical Research and its Clinical and Biotech/Pharmaceutical applications. Moreover, recent (bio)technological developments and analytical strategies to tackle the role of redox biology in health and disease, aimed at preventing, curing and delaying disease were discussed. Jun 21, 2018
Welcome Michelle Itano!!
Please join us in welcoming and congratulating Michelle Itano in her new position as a fixed-term Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. Michelle is a PhD graduate of our Department and has served as Director of the Neuroscience Center Microscopy Core for much of the past year. Her exceptional talents and service-minded attitude have brought about remarkable growth and success to the Core. In her new position, she will continue to serve as the Neuroscience Microscopy Core Director, while also providing valuable advising to our HIC Steering Committee and participating in the teaching and education of our trainees in microscopy techniques. Welcome and Congratulations, Michelle! Jun 05, 2018
Fusion Seminar: Rachel Battaglia & Danielle Berlin Oct 22, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Seminar: Tammy R. Collins, PhD Oct 29, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Seminar: Shmuel Muallem, PhD Nov 05, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Fusion Seminar: Melissa Plooster & Amanda Smith Nov 19, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 124 Taylor Hall
Upcoming events…