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History, Mission & Vision

History of the Department

The Department of Cell and Developmental Biology began as Anatomy in 1925, evolved to Cell Biology and  was reorganized in 2001/2002 to reflect unification of cellular and developmental biology disciplines in one department. This has offered unique opportunities for reciprocal and collaborative interactions in cutting edge biomedical research. The field of cell biology has traditionally focused on questions regarding subcellular machinery and the regulated communication of extracellular or growth signals and cues. An ultimate application of the knowledge gleaned from such studies of single cells has been to understand functions in multi-cellular organisms and human biology/medicine. This directly links to the problems of interest to developmental biologists, including the mechanisms for morphogenesis, tissue polarity and patterning. By building bridges between researchers working in cell and/or developmental biology fields the department has developed an interactive and exciting environment.



The mission of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology is to advance basic biomedical research at the cellular, molecular and organism level, and to prepare for the future by the training of medical and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.


The vision of the Department is to be internationally recognized for academic excellence, innovation, creativity, and integrity, and acknowledged as a world leader for both research and educational contributions.

Welcome to CDB
Ian G. Macara, Ph.D.
Louise B. McGavock Professor & Chair