Fundamental Mechanisms in Cell Biology

All cell biologists have a common desire to understand the inner workings of cells, the fundamental units of life. Modern cell biology incorporates a wide range of approaches aimed at attaining this goal, from techniques that allow visualization of the cell machinery, to genetic, biochemical, and biophysical approaches that allow dissection of the molecular mechanisms by which these machines work. The Department of Molecular Biosciences has strengths in each of these areas and fosters a collaborative environment that allows researchers to take an integrative approach to study important cellular processes.

Interdisciplinary approaches to key questions

Research in the Department of Molecular Biosciences is focused on a wide range of topics including:

  • Cell division
  • Cellular signaling 
  • Organelle and membrane structure and function
  • Gene regulation and localization
  • Protein structure and function
  • Proteomics and proteostasis
  • Multicellular interactions and development

Laboratories in Molecular Biosciences investigate these problems through diverse in vivo and in vitro approaches, and by incorporating work in different model organisms. Our research is facilitated by access to state-of-the-art light and electron microscopy through multiple NU imaging cores including:

In addition, departmental expertise is particularly strong in a wide range of structural and biophysical disciplines. This strength is enhanced by the state-of-the-art Keck Biophysics Facility and is reflected by the success of our Biophysics Training program

Leveraging expertise through collaboration

Collaboration among laboratories is fostered through a number of community-building activities which bring together researchers from a broad range of disciplines to share ideas. These include:

  • Molecular Biology Club
  • Biophysics Club
  • Multi-lab supergroup meetings
  • The Center for Cell and Developmental Biology

Our shared interest in understanding fundamental molecular mechanisms and our broad expertise in multiple research areas and methodologies together create an interdisciplinary environment ideal for answering fundamental questions in cell biology.