Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

A research training environment will be provided for students in many areas of stem cell biology including the basic biology of stem cells, the development of tools for stem cell research, the genetics of cortical stem cells, central nervous system injury and stroke, neurodegenerative disease, tissue engineering, diabetes, the role of stem cells in cancer, stem cell therapy for ocular disease, and the use of stem cell-based screens to identify novel drugs targeting cell proliferation, differentiation, and death.

The developmental biology and genetics research focus emphasizes research training in molecular and genetic aspects of cellular and developmental biology. The faculty use a variety of experimental systems including yeast, hydra, fruit flies, amphibians, chicken, mouse, and human, and they use broad-based approaches to study many important problems including embryonic induction, pattern formation, growth control, regeneration, neurogenesis, tumorigenesis, signal transduction, and metabolic regulation. By combining diverse groups of researchers linked by shared interests in biology within a single research interest group, we hope to expose students to a broad range of influences from and intellectual interactions with the various faculty members. The number of professors involved with this group increases the resources available as students receive training in some of the most active and rapidly growing research areas in biology.

Focus Area Coordinator:  Peter J. Donovanpdonovan@uci.edu

  • Kavita Arora, karora@uci.edu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Drosophila development; TGF-b signal transduction; cell signaling
  • Pierre Baldi, pfbaldi@ics.uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science, Biological Chemistry, and Development & Cell Biology
    Bioinformatics, computational biology, probabilistic modeling, and machine learning
  • Bruce Blumberg, blumberg@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology
    Gene regulation by nuclear hormone receptors in vertebrate development and adult physiology
  • Anne L. Calof, alcalof@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology and Developmental & Cell Biology
    Regulation of stem cells in development and regeneration; genomic strategies for understanding the etiology and treatment of human neurodevelopmental disorders using transgenic mouse models
  • Ken W.-Y. Cho, kwcho@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Molecular mechanisms of axis specification in Xenopus
  • Olivier Cinquin, ocinquin@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Systems biology of cell differentiation
  • Xing Dai, xdai@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Chemistry
    Skin and mammary stem cells, Wnt signaling, chromatin, transcription
  • Peter J. Donovan, pdonovan@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor and Co-Director, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center Department of Biological Chemistry, Department of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Molecular Genetics of Germ Cell and Stem Cell Development
  • David Gardiner, dmgardin@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Limb regeneration, wound healing and tissue repair
  • Matt Inlay, minlay@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Molecular mechanisms regulating developmental fate decisions in embryonic and adult hematopoiesis in mouse and humans.
  • Arthur D. Lander, adlander@uci.edu, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology and Pharmacology
    Mechanisms of growth factor action; extracellular matrix; developmental neurobiology; systems biology
  • Ulrike Luderer, uluderer@uci.edu, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine, Developmental & Cell Biology and Public Health
    Roles of toxicant exposure and oxidative stress in ovarian aging, premature ovarian failure and ovarian cancer
  • Grant MacGregor, gmacg@uci.edu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Developmental Biology
    Gametogenesis in the mouse
  • J. Lawrence Marsh, jlmarsh@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Molecular genetics of development in Drosophila and humans
  • Edwin S. Monuki, emonuki@uci.edu M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Developmental & Cell Biology
    Cerebral cortex development and disease
  • Diane K. O’Dowd, dkodowd@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology and Anatomy & Neurobiology
    Electrical excitability and synaptic connectivity during development
  • Irene Pedersen, imp@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Regulation of microRNAs (miRs) and their role in human disease (Cancer), Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) development and viral defense
  • Maksim Plikus, plikus@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Stem cells and stem cell niche, Regeneration of tissues and organs, Biological pattern formation, Self-organization, Skin and hair follicles, Adipose tissue, WNT and BMP signaling pathways
  • Tom Schilling, tschilli@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Skeletal and neural patterning; mutational analysis and molecular genetics in the zebrafish
  • Robert E. Steele, resteele@uci.edu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry
    Molecular biology of Hydra development
  • Leslie M. Thompson, lmthomps@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Biological Chemistry
    Molecular and biochemical mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and therapeutic approaches to human neurodegenerative disease
  • Rahul Warrior, rwarrior@uci.edu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Developmental regulation of proteoglycan biosynthesis; Transcriptional response to BMP growth factor signaling
  • Weian Zhao, weianz@uci.edu Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Stem cell engineering and clinical translation, molecular sensors and diagnostics, single-cell analysis and screening, cancer immunotherapy

 

Faculty – Secondary Affiliation

  • Bogi Andersen, bogi@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Biological Chemistry
    Transcriptional regulation in the developmental biology of epidermis and mammary gland
  • Dana W. Aswad, dwaswad@uci.edu, Ph.D. Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Regulation of protein function and gene expression by post-translational modification. Biochemistry of protein damage, aging, and repair.
  • Alexander Boiko, aboiko@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
    Isolation and Characterization of Tumor Initiating Cells from melanoma
    patients. 
  • Daniela Bota, dbota@uci.edu, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
    The mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced cognitive damage, and differential mechanisms governing glioma stem cell versus neural stem cell differentiation.
  • Dongbao Chen, dongbaoc@uci.edu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
    Angiogenesis and perinatal vascular biology
  • Christopher C.W. Hughes, cchughes@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Molecular biology of developmental and tumor angiogenesis
  • Kai Kessenbrock, kkessenb@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry
    Microenvironmental Control of Stem Cells and Cancer
  • Medha Pathak, medhap@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology & Biophysics
    How mechanical forces shape neural stem cells behavior in vitro and in vivo; Transduction of mechanical forces by the Piezo1 ion channel.
  • Suzanne B. Sandmeyer, sbsandme@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Chemistry
    Molecular genetics of a position-specific yeast retrovirus-like element
  • Sha Sun, shasun@uci.edu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology
    Long noncoding RNAs in epigenetic programming
  • Armando Villaltaarmando.villalta@uci.edu, Ph.D, Assistant Professor Physiology and Biophysics
    Immune cell and organ system interactions that promote tissue injury and repair
  • Craig M. Walsh, cwalsh@uci.edu, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Apoptotic mechanisms in immune development and homeostasis 
  • Ping Wang, phwang@uci.edu, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Biological Chemistry, Physiology & Biophysics, and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
    Molecular hormone actions in diseases and stem cells
  • Marian L. Waterman, mlwaterm@uci.edu Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
    Regulation of LEF-1 gene expression in lymphocytes and cancer