University of Pittsburgh Department of Cell Biology

Cell Biology Research

Biomedical research in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Cell Biology is directed at several major areas, as described below. The department is home of the School of Medicine's Center for Biological Imaging and the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center. The Department's major faculty groupings and research foci are summarized below.
  • Regulation of Channels and Transporters

    Studies in this group aim at elucidating the physiological mechanisms underlying regulation of several ion channel and transporter proteins. Our approaches include biochemical, molecular, electrophysiologic, imaging, cell biologic and transgenic techniques. Inherited mutations in ion channels are responsible for many genetic diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF). The department is home to a Translational Core Center in CF funded by the NIH and to a program grant from the CF Foundation.
  • Cellular Organization and Cell-cell Communications

    This group uses various state-of-the-art cell imaging, biochemical and genetic approaches to define the mechanisms involved in development and maintenance of epithelial cell polarity, regulation of gap junctions, angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, and various routes of functional communication between dendritic cells.
  • Membrane Trafficking and Organelle Biogenesis

    Scientists in this program are part of a larger "trafficking" community combining researchers from the School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences, and Carnegie Mellon University. The research is aimed at identifying the mechanisms of targeting of proteins and lipids to specific cellular compartments and at defining how these processes are disrupted in disease.
  • Regulation of Intracellular Signaling and Gene Expression

    Scientists in this group are examining signaling processes mediated by receptors for growth factors and hormones, mechanisms of hormone secretion, and processes involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression, DNA repair and transcription. The particular focus is on the events leading to dysregylation of cellular signaling networks leading in the disease such as cancer.