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Welcome to the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology - a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment for cutting-edge research over a scale that spans seven powers of ten, from single molecules to whole organisms. The difference between a test tube and a cell is spatio-temporal organization, and we study molecular, cellular and tissue organization in many of the laboratories within our department, seeking insights into fundamental biological questions and human disease.  This year we rose to the #1 ranking in the nation for funding, as compared with similar departments in research institutions and universities. We are an interactive and highly collaborative department, with a strong graduate student association, outstanding core facilities, a top-ranked developmental biology program, and exceptionally strong faculty.  Recent faculty recruits are studying cell migration using super-resolution microscopy, single molecule analysis of microtubule dynamics, systems biology of intestinal epithelia, stem cell biology, and the regulation of plasma membrane composition and ageing.

We train top tier postdoctoral fellows, medical students and graduate students to continue our mission into the future. Over 70 graduate students are currently working in CDB laboratories; 34% of whom have published a paper in the 2015/2016 academic year. 46 CDB Students were authors on 42 papers. 


New Grants!

  • Meghan Postema, Grad student Puck Ohi Lab AHA 2 year project, "Investigating the Role of BAR Domain Protein in Brush Border Assembly"
  • Chole Snider,  Grad Student Kathy Gould Lab AHA 2 year project, "Investigating Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Formation and Anchoring of the Cytokinetic Ring"
  • Anneke Sanders, Post Doc Irina Kaverina Lab AHA 2 year project, "Function and Regulation of Golgi-Derived Microtubules in Endothelial Cells"
  • Dylan Burnette, Assistant Professor AHA 2 year project, "Mechanisms of Sarcomere Assembly in Health and diseased Heart Muscle Cells"

A Lifetime of Vision
CDB hosted "A Lifetime of Vision" symposium honoring Vivien Casagrande's contributions to science on Friday, November 18, 2016 from 1:30 to 5:00 in 1220 MRB III. See tributes and video stream of the symposium here.

CDB Spearheads New Nikon Center of Excellence Vanderbilt’s Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) opened a Nikon Center of Excellence (NCoE) on October 4th, which brings state-of-the-art microscopy for live cell imaging to our campus.  The partnership between Nikon Instruments and Vanderbilt provides researchers across the University and Medical Center access to Nikon’s most advanced cell imaging platforms. The NCoE offers training courses, including basic and advanced light microscopy techniques, quantitative image analysis, and workshops on Nikon software: Please Click Here to register.

A new web site for Student Travel Guidelines is now available!

Puck Ohi has been awarded a four year RO1 from NIH/NIGMS RO1 for a project titled, "Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics and Organization During Cell Division"

Vivian Gama was awarded a twelve month grant from the American Brain Tumor Association  for a project titled, "Targeting Mcl-1 to Disrupt Glioblastoma Stem Cells"

Audra Foshage (Tansey Lab) won an award for a three year F 31 from NIH/NCI for a project titled, "WDR5 as a Critical Co-Factor for MYC"

Charles Herring ( Lau Lab) was awarded an F31 from the NIH for a project titled, "Leveraging SingleCell Data to Define Cell Differentiation Transitions"

CDB Rises to the #1 Spot in Cell Biology Funding!
The Vanderbilt Department of Cell & Developmental Biology currently occupies the #1 rank among US medical schools in "Anatomy/Cell Biology" NIH funding, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

Congratulations to Irina Kaverina, one of fourteen faculty members selected as 2016 Chancellor Faculty Fellows. Read more.



Vanderbilt University
Program in Developmental Biology