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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. 


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"

Dissertation Defense: Caleb Howard (Bill Tansey Lab), Tuesday, August 9th 2:00 p.m. 3131 MRB II. Title TBA.

Kathy Gould, Ph.D., PI of the Gould Lab was awarded an RO1 from the  NIH/NIGMS “ Regulation of Cytokinesis” 

April Weissmiller, Ph.D., Post Doc in the Tansey Lab was awarded 12 month funding from Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research Award "Probing MYC Recruitment to Chromatin in Pediatric Cancer” and a one year AACR Basic Science Cancer Research Fellowship.  

Audra Foshage, Graduate Student in the Tansey Lab was awarded a 3 year F-31 from the NIH/NCI  "WDR5 as a Critical Co-Factor for MYC”

Aidan Fenix receives 2 year pre-doctoral AHA Award, "Investigating the Mechanisms of Beta Cardiac Myosin II Stacking During Sarcomere….. "

Melanie Ohi participates under Jen Meiler in Trans-Institutional Program. Read more. 

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