The Department of Cell and Developmental Biology carries out research and teaching on a broad spectrum of biological levels ranging from the molecule, cell, organ and system to the intact organism. The unifying research question of our department is how molecular and cellular mechanisms serve larger scale, integrative functions, such as the development and physiology of tissues and organ systems, sensation and behavior. This interdisciplinary approach is served by faculty members whose individual specialties span developmental biology, cell and tumor biology, epigenetics, physiology, endocrinology, neuroscience and tissue engineering. Research in the department aims at elucidating mechanisms involved in cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, gastrointestinal infections and lipid metabolism. Although most of the department's work is defined as basic science, some applied research is also carried out. Examples of such projects are the development of novel analgesic drugs, biomaterials (e.g. spider silk), artificial organs, differentiation factors, and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, HCV infection and atherosclerosis.
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