Cell & Molecular Biology

Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind cellular processes provides insight into many aspects of modern biology, from embryonic development to human disease. Work in the biology department uses both plant and animal model systems to explore such diverse cellular events as chromosome movement, cell cycle regulation, control of gene expression, cell to cell signaling, coordination of cell movements and growth during development, and pathogen resistance.

Daniele Armaleo

Associate Professor of the Practice of Biology

My research centers on the developmental and molecular biology of lichens, well differentiated symbioses between two or three evolutionarily unrelated organisms: specialized fungi on the one hand and algae or cyanobacteria on the... Full Profile »

L. Ryan Baugh

Associate Professor of Biology

We study nutritional control of development in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. We are interested in the signaling pathways and gene regulatory mechanisms that enable the worm to reversibly arrest development and resist stress in response to starvation. We are also interested in epigenetic... Full Profile »

Amy Bejsovec

Associate Professor of Biology

My laboratory explores the molecular mechanisms of pattern formation in developing embryos. We focus on the Wingless(Wg)/Wnt class of secreted growth factor: these molecules promote cell-cell communication leading to important cell fate decisions during the development of both vertebrate and... Full Profile »

Philip N. Benfey

Paul Kramer Professor of Biology in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

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Nicolas Buchler

Assistant Professor of Biology

Our lab is interested in the systems biology and evolution of epigenetic switches (bistability) and clocks (oscillators) in gene regulatory networks, two functions that are essential for patterning, cell proliferation, and differentiation in biological systems. We also study biochemical oscillators... Full Profile »

Xinnian Dong

Arts and Sciences Professor of Biology in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, my laboratory studies the mechanisms of plant defense against microbial pathogens. We focus on a specific response known as systemic acquired resistance (SAR). SAR,... Full Profile »

Ron Grunwald

Senior Lecturer of Biology

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Steven B. Haase

Associate Professor of Biology

Our group is broadly interested in understanding the biological clock mechanisms that control the timing of events during the cell division cycle. In 2008, the Haase group proposed a new model in which a complex network of sequentially activated transcription factors regulates the precise timing of... Full Profile »

Alison Hill

Senior Lecturer of Biology

My primary focus in the department is instructional. I teach courses for both biology majors and non-majors.  I continue to develop and innovate the Molecular Biology lab curriculum and am involved in efforts to improve instruction by bringing formative assessment into our lectures. My non-majors... Full Profile »

Daniel P. Kiehart

Professor of Biology

Our intellectual focus is on identifying determinants of cell shape that function during development. Utilizing molecular genetic and reverse genetic approaches in Drosophila, we have shown that conventional nonmuscle myosin is necessary for driving both cell division and post-mitotic cell shape... Full Profile »

David R. McClay

Arthur S. Pearse Professor of Biology in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

We ask how the embryo works. Prior to morphogenesis the embryo specifies each cell through transcriptional regulation and signaling. Our research builds gene regulatory networks to understand how that early specification works. We then ask how this specification programs cells for their... Full Profile »

R. Bruce Nicklas

Arthur S. Pearse Professor Emeritus of Biology

I am now retired and my lab is closed. In the past, we pushed chromosomes around by micromanipulation to learn more about chromosome movement in mitosis. We tugged on chromosomes to measure the forces produced by the spindle and chopped spindles apart to locate the motor for chromosome movement.... Full Profile »

Zhen-Ming Pei

Associate Professor of Biology

My laboratory is interested in the early signaling events by which plants sense environmental signals and decode to give the appropriate responses. Upon perception of external signals, cell surface receptors trigger an increase in cytosolic free calcium concentration, which is mediated by ion... Full Profile »

Amy K. Schmid

Assistant Professor of Biology

Although life science research has entered the post-genomic era, we still understand little about the diversity of microbial life on earth. Information is particularly lacking on microbial extremophiles, which thrive at the limits of life. Extremophiles can be found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents... Full Profile »

David R. Sherwood

Professor of Biology

Our research is directed at elucidating mechanisms underlying morphogenetic processes in development. We primarily use the model system C. elegans in our research, and combine powerful genetic and systems biology approaches with live-cell imaging to address three main topics:   Tissue... Full Profile »

Nina Tang Sherwood

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Biology

We use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to understand nervous system development and function. A genetic screen for molecules important to these processes identified the fly ortholog of the spastin gene, which when mutated in humans leads to a progressive neurodegenerative disease called... Full Profile »

James N. Siedow

Professor Emeritus of Biology

Physiological, biochemical and molecular studies of plant oxidative processes. I suspended the operation of my laboratory about eight years ago. Historically, the research in my laboratory looked at metabolic processes related to aerobic respiration in plants and fungi. Specifically, this... Full Profile »

Tai-ping Sun

Professor of Biology

The diterpenoid phytohormone gibberellin (GA) plays pivotal roles in regulating growth and development throughout the life cycle of higher plants. Mutations affecting GA biosynthesis or GA response were the key to control plant stature in wheat and rice that led to dramatically increased grain... Full Profile »

Pelin Cayirlioglu Volkan

Assistant Professor of Biology

The long-term goal in the lab is to understand the developmental processes that establish the basic organizational and functional principles of the neuronal circuits in the brain. We investigate how the neuronal circuits assemble, functionally mature, remodel in developmental and evolutionary time... Full Profile »