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Dr Kathleen CaronWelcome to the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! The Department of Cell Biology and Physiology conducts 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. Our mission is to be nationally recognized for excellence in our discipline by Leading, Teaching and Caring.

Leading—We 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 #3 in the country for our level of NIH funding in 2022!  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, systems physiology, 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.

Teaching—The CBP breadth of investigation is reflected in our interdisciplinary, interdepartmental Cell Biology and Physiology Curriculum, which provides a broad, integrated biological foundation and emphasizes rigor, transparency, integrity, and creative scientific reasoning. We 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 CBP Curriculum has a long tradition of successfully training the next generation of scientists.  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. We provide award-winning 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.

To find out more about what’s happening in the Department, I invite you to read the latest edition of our CBP “In the Loop” Newsletter.