Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (MCD)



Fifty-two faculty members from six departments participate in the training track in MCD Biology. Their research covers numerous topics directly related to human health, including stem cell biology, cancer biology, malaria, cholera, host-pathogen interactions, neurodegenerative diseases, and the responses of neurons to stroke and other damage. Basic research focuses on cell division, signaling, meiosis, chromatin remodeling, epigenetics, cell differentiation, and neurobiology.

Approved faculty for research rotations for MCD graduate students are below. MCD Core Faculty are members of the MCD Biology department. MCD Affiliate Faculty are in other departments.


MCD Core Faculty
Manny Ares Mechanisms of Splicing Regulation
Joshua Arribere Cellular quality control of gene expression
Needhi Bhalla Meiotic Chromosome Dynamics
Hinrich Boeger Chromatin Structure and Gene Regulation
David Boyd Viral immunology, respiratory viruses, stromal cells, lung biology, lung extracellular matrix
Susan Carpenter Long Noncoding RNA and Innate Immunity
Bin Chen Mammalian Brain Development
Bradley Colquitt Molecular mechanisms of behavioral development and evolution
Valerie Cortez RNA viruses, epithelial biology, and mucosal immunology
David Feldheim The Generation of Neural Connections
Carol Greider Telomerase and Telomere Length Regulation
Grant Hartzog How Chromatin Influences Transcription
Lindsay Hinck Cellular Interactions During Organogenesis and Tumorigenesis
Melissa Jurica Structure and Functional Analysis of Spliceosomes
Rohinton Kamakaka Chromosome Structure and Gene Regulation
Doug Kellogg Control of Cell Growth and Size
Euiseok Kim Connectivity, function, development, and genetic identity of neural circuits
Harry Noller Structure and Function of the Ribosome
Sofie Salama Molecular biology, Cell Biology, Stem Cells, Genomics, Neurobiology, Development, Cancer
Jeremy Sanford Post Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression
Upasna Sharma Epigenetics, RNA, chromatin and transcriptional regulation, reproduction, genomics
Shaheen Sikandar Functional Heterogeneity Among Normal and Cancer Stem Cells
Bill Sullivan Cell Cycle, Cytoskeleton, and Host-pathogen Interactions
Dan Turner-Evans Neuroscience, dynamical systems, microcircuits, and structure-function relationships
Olena Vaske Genomics of pediatric cancers and rare diseases
Zhu Wang Prostate Development and Cancer, Tissue Stem Cells
Jordan Ward Probing C. elegans development, cellular differentiation, and parasitic disease
Al Zahler Alternative Pre-mRNA Splicing Regulation and the Biological Role of Small RNAs
Yi Zuo Synapse Plasticity and Learning/Memory


MCD Affiliate Faculty

Vicki Auerbuch-Stone MICRO Innate Immune Responses to the Human Pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis
Angela Brooks BME Transcriptome Analysis of RNA Splicing and Cancer
Manel Camps MICRO Use of Random Mutagenesis for Studies of Evolution and for Therapy
Raquel Chamorro-Garcia MICRO Epigenetic mechanisms of genome-environment interactions and transgenerational inheritance in mouse models
Russell Corbett-Detig BME Population and Evolutionary Genomics, Bioinformatics
Rebecca DuBois BME Structure, Function, and Engineering of Virus Proteins
Camilla Forsberg BME Mechanisms of Stem Cell Fate Decisions
David Haussler BME Bioinformatics, Computational Genomic Data Analysis, Molecular Evolution and Comparative Genomics
Ted Holman CHEM Biochemical and Inhibitory Investigations into Lipoxygenase: a Possible Therapeutic for Stroke, Diabetes and Heart Disease
Tim Johnstone CHEM Medicinal bioinorganic chemistry; synthetic inorganic chemistry; nanoparticle drug delivery; inorganic spectroscopy; small-molecule X-ray crystallography; mammalian and microbiological cell culture
Sarah Loerch CHEM Structure and function of RNA-protein complexes, electron cryo-microscopy, biochemistry and biophysics, image processing
Scott Lokey CHEM Chemical Biology, Cyclic Peptides, Small Molecule Screening
Todd Lowe BME Computational and experimental discovery of non-coding RNAs, microbial genomics, extremophile biology
John MacMillan CHEM Natural products chemistry, chemical biology, structural elucidation, cancer biology, microbial natural products
Shaun McKinnie CHEM Discovery and application of natural product biosynthetic enzymology and chemistry
Karen Miga BME Centromere sequence characterization, satellite DNA evolution, epigenetic annotation of repeat-rich regions
Glenn Millhauser CHEM Prions, Metallobiochemistry, Agouti and Melanocortin Signaling, Total Protein Synthesis
Karen Ottemann MICRO The Molecular Virulence Factors of Helicobacter pylori
Carrie Partch CHEM Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Rhythmicity
Benedict Paten BME Genome Analysis and Precision Medicine
Michael Patnode MICRO Defining competitive relationships among members of the human gut microbiota as it relates to carbohydrate metabolism
Seth Rubin CHEM Biochemical Mechanisms in Cell Growth and Division
Shelbi Russell BME Symbiosis, evolutionary genetics, molecular evolution, developmental biology, cell biology
Chad Saltikov MICRO Understanding the Molecular Biology and Ecology of Bacteria that Metabolize Toxic Metals
Bill Scott CHEM RNA Structure, Catalysis and the Origin of Life
Aleksandra Skrajna CHEM We are using interdisciplinary approaches, including proteomics and cryo-EM to study chromatin structure and function
Beth Shapiro EEB Inferring the Evolutionary Dynamics of Species and Populations Using Genome-scale Data Sampled Over Time
Tal Sharf BME Mapping human neuronal circuitry
Ali Shariati BME Cell division cycle, cellular differentiation, cell fate decision, genome engineering, pluripotency, stem cells, transcription, chromatin
Alexander Sher Physics Neural Circuits: Function, Development, and Treatment
Donald Smith MICRO Molecular and Functional impacts of Neurotoxic Agents
Michael Stone CHEM Structure and Dynamics of Telomeres and Telomerase
Christopher Vollmers BME DNA Sequencing Tools for the Analysis of B cells
Andy Yeh BME Using Protein Design and Chemical Biology to build light-emitting systems and protein biosensors for biological discovery and diagnostics
Fitnat Yildiz MICRO Molecular Mechanisms of Biofilm Formation in Vibrio cholerae



nih UCSC's graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering is supported by training grants from the National Institute of General Medical Science and the National Human Genome Research Institute.