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
James Ackman Visualizing Structured Activity Throughout the Developing Vertebrate Brain
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
Susan Carpenter Long Noncoding RNA and Innate Immunity
Bin Chen Mammalian Brain Development
David Feldheim The Generation of Neural Connections
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
Jeremy Sanford Post Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression
Upasna Sharma Epigenetics, RNA, chromatin and transcriptional regulation, reproduction, genomics
Bill Sullivan Cell Cycle, Cytoskeleton, and Host-pathogen Interactions
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
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
Ed Green BME Genome Sequence Assembly and Comparative Genome Analysis
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
Daniel Kim BME Epigenomic Reprogramming by Long Noncoding RNA
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
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
Jevgenij Raskatov CHEM Disease-Oriented Chemical Biology: Creating Novel Molecular Therapeutic Strategies
Seth Rubin CHEM Biochemical Mechanisms in Cell Growth and Division
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
Nik Sgourakis CHEM Molecular & Structural Immunology; T cell receptor signaling dynamics; MHC-I peptide loading mechanism; Tumor neoantigen characterization; Modeling protein complexes from sparse NMR data
Beth Shapiro EEB Inferring the Evolutionary Dynamics of Species and Populations Using Genome-scale Data Sampled Over Time
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
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.