Molecular and Cell Biology

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

The teaching and research activities of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) concern the molecular structures and processes of cellular life and their roles in the function, reproduction, and development of living organisms.

The program covers a broad range of specialized disciplines, such as biochemistry, microbiology, biophysics, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, cell biology, developmental biology, immunology, tumor biology and neurobiology.

The types of living organisms from which the departmental faculty draws its working materials are as diverse as its disciplinary specializations — ranging from viruses and microbes through plants, roundworms, annelids, arthropods, and mollusks, to fish, amphibia, and mammals.

The faculty of the department is organized into five divisions: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Cell and Developmental Biology; Genetics, Genomics, and Development; Neurobiology; and Immunology and Pathogenesis.

Research Facilities

The Cancer Research Laboratory is a research institute on the Berkeley campus that carries on a research, teaching, and service program designed to foster interdepartmental participation in cancer research. Some of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology faculty are also members of the Cancer Research Laboratory. The central research program represents a multidisciplinary approach to an understanding of the mechanism of neoplastic transformation using a variety of systems. Graduate student and postdoctoral research programs are supported in various areas of tumor biology, biochemistry, cell biology, endocrinology, genetics, immunology, molecular biology, and tumor virology. The Cancer Research Laboratory also operates five research facilities:

  1. Flow Cytometry Facility for fluorescence activated cell sorting and analysis
  2. Molecular Imaging Facility with two-photon microscopes for image analysis
  3. Proteomic Mass Spectrometry Facility
  4. Immunology DNA Microarray Consortium
  5. Gene Targeting Facility for construction of transgenic and chimeric mice

Instrumentation in the facilities is operated by highly trained staff, and training is offered in methods and techniques associated with each facility. For more information, visit the CRL website.

The Functional Genomics Laboratory at Berkeley was established to allow Berkeley scientists to exploit profound technological advances in the field of genomics. These advances, which include the sequencing of entire genomes of selected model systems and the ability to survey genome-wide patterns of gene expression, now allow the dissection of biological processes at unprecedented levels of detail. In particular, this research facility provides the infrastructure, technologies, and computational resources for the performance of DNA microarray experiments, which allow the analysis of mRNA expression from tens of thousands of genes at a time. The Functional Genomics Laboratory currently possesses all the equipment necessary for conducting DNA microarray experiments, including thermal cyclers; fluidics robots; microarray printing robots; laser-scanning microscopes for microarray scanning; an Affymetrix workstation and scanner; and dedicated computers for data analysis and storage of informatics databases. For more information, go to this website

The Robert D. Ogg Electron Microscope Laboratory is an instructional and research unit of the College of Letters and Science. It houses equipment for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The staff is skilled not only in the operation and maintenance of instruments but also in standard and most specialized techniques of sample preparation. Qualified undergraduates and graduate students, postdoctoral associates, faculty, and research staff in biological and physical sciences, once trained, may make arrangements for use of the instruments in research. Instruction is provided both in classes and in individual training. Traini. Registered students and faculty are not charged for training. Nominal charges are made for use of the laboratory for individual research work. With permission from the director, non-UC personnel can be accepted for training or laboratory use. Equipment can be used outside normal hours. The laboratory provides demonstrations of the electron microscope and preparative techniques for on-campus classes and can make special arrangements for tour groups. For more information, go to this website.

Other specialized research facilities include those for x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance studies, large-scale fermentation, tissue culture, and DNA sequencing.

The Berkeley Screening Center is a campus-wide facility enabling Berkeley researchers to perform high-throughput genetic and chemical screens. The BSC provides automation, including automated image acquisition, microscopy, and high-throughput liquid handling technology; support for screen execution and analysis; bioinformatic tools; and siRNA libraries targeting Drosophila, mouse, and human genomes, kinomes, and ubiquitinomes.

Undergraduate Programs

Molecular and Cell Biology: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: BA
Molecular and Cell Biology: Cell and Developmental Biology: BA
Molecular and Cell Biology: Genetics, Genomics, and Development: BA
Molecular and Cell Biology: Immunology and Pathogenesis: BA
Molecular and Cell Biology: Neurobiology: BA

Graduate Program

Molecular and Cell Biology: PhD

Visit Department Website

Courses

Molecular and Cell Biology

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Hillel Adesnik, Assistant Professor.

Georjana Barnes, Professor. Biochemistry, genetics, cancer, biology, microtubule cytoskeleton, cell cycle controls, cellular imaging.
Research Profile

Gregory M. Barton, Professor. Immunology, cell biology, infectious disease, innate immunity.
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Helen Bateup, Assistant Professor. Molecular and cellular neuroscience, neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, epilepsy.
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Diana Bautista, Associate Professor. Ion channels, sensory physiology, chemosensation, touch, thermosensation, somatosensory system.
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David Bilder, Professor. Genetics, cancer, Drosophila, cell biology, cell polarity, tumor suppressor, epithelial architecture, polarity, and proliferation control.
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Michael R. Botchan, Professor. Eukaryotic gene expression, drosophila chromosomes, papilloma viral DNA, chromosomal dynamics.
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Gloria Brar, Assistant Professor. Meiosis, translation, sORFs, stress responses.
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Steve Brohawn, Assistant Professor.
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Carlos J. Bustamante, Professor. Nanoscience, structural characterization of nucleo-protein assemblies, single molecule fluorescence microscopy, DNA-binding molecular motors, the scanning force microscope, prokaryotes.
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Jamie Cate, Professor. Molecular basis for protein synthesis by the ribosome, RNA, antibiotics, a thermophilic bacterium, escherichia coli.
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Christopher J. Chang, Professor. Chemistry, inorganic chemistry, neuroscience, bioinorganic chemistry, general physiology, organic chemistry, new chemical tools for biological imaging and proteomics, new metal complexes for energy catalysis and green chemistry, chemical biology.
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Michelle Chang, Associate Professor.

Kathleen Collins, Professor. RNA, telomerase, Telomere function, Telomere replication.
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Jacob E. Corn, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Laurent Coscoy, Associate Professor. Immunology, viruses, viral infection, immune responses, immune evasion.
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Jeffery S. Cox, Professor.

Yang Dan, Professor. Neuronal circuits, mammalian visual system, electrophysiological, psychophysical and computational techniques, visual cortical circuits, visual neurons.
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Xavier Darzacq, Assistant Professor.

Abby Dernburg, Professor. Genomics, chromosome remodeling and reorganization during meiosis, Down syndrome, DNA.
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Andrew Dillin, Professor.

Jennifer A. Doudna, Professor. RNA machines, hepatitis C virus, RNA interference, ribosomes.
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David G. Drubin, Professor. Cellular morphogenesis, plasma membrane dynamics, microtubule cytoskeletons, cytoskeletal proteins, morphological development.
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Peter H. Duesberg, Professor. Genetic structure of retroviruses, carcinogenesis, aneuploidy, virology, HIV-AIDS.
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Michael B. Eisen, Professor. Genomics, genome sequencing, bioinformatics, animal development.
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+ Dan Feldman, Associate Professor. Neurobiology, learning, neurophysiology, sensory biology.
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Marla B. Feller, Professor. Neurophysiology, developmental neuroscience.
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+ Gary L. Firestone, Professor. Cancer, steroid hormones, molecular endocrinology, tumor biology, growth factors, dietary compounds, tumor cells, glucocorticoids.
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John Gerard Flannery, Professor. Neurobiology, optometry, vision science, cell and molecular biology of the retina in normal and diseased states.
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Hernan G. Garcia, Assistant Professor.

Gian Garriga, Professor. Developmental neurobiology; molecular genetics, development of nervous systems, cell division, cell migration, axonal pathfinding, caenorhabditis elegans.
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Britt Glaunsinger, Associate Professor. Virology, gene expression, herpesvirus.
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Ming Chen Hammond, Assistant Professor. Molecular biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, synthetic biology, chemical biology.
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Iswar Krishna Hariharan, Professor. Growth regulation, regeneration, cancer.
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Richard M. Harland, Professor. Molecular biology, early vertebrate development, Xenopus, embryo development.
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Lin He, Associate Professor.

Rebecca Heald, Professor. Cell division, Xenopus, mitotic spindle assembly and function, size control of intracellular structures.
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Dirk Hockemeyer, Assistant Professor.

James Hurley, Professor.

Nicholas Ingolia, Assistant Professor. Ribosome Profiling, translation, genomics.
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Ehud Y. Isacoff, Professor. Ion channel function, synaptic plasticity, neural excitability, synaptic transmission, the synapse.
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Gary H. Karpen, Adjunct Professor. Gene expression, cell biology, chromosome structure and function, drosophila melanogaster, centromere identity and function.
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Nicole King, Professor. Genetics, developmental biology, biology, choanoflagellates, multicellularity, evolution of animals, comparative genomics, eukaryotes, host-microbe interactions, bacterial signals.
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Douglas E. Koshland, Professor. Higher order chromosome structure, genome integrity, sister chromatid cohesion, chromosome condensation, desiccation tolerance, microbial genetics.
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Richard H. Kramer, Professor. Cells, synaptic transmission, chemical signaling between neurons, ion channels, electrical signals, chemical reagents, synapses.
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John Kuriyan, Professor. Structural and functional studies of signal transduction, DNA replication, cancer therapies, phosphorylation.
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Stephan Lammel, Assistant Professor. Neuroscience, Optogenetics, dopamine, addiction, depression.
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Michael S. Levine, Professor. Regulation of enhancer-promoter interactions, gene networks, animal development and disease, drosophila embryo, immune response in drosophila larvae, differentiation of the notochord and heart in the sea squirt, whole-genome analysis.
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Polina Lishko, Assistant Professor. Reproductive and Developmental Biology, ion channels, Physiology of Fertilization and Early Embryo Development.
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Kunxin Luo, Professor. Signal transduction pathways, mechanisms controlling the receptor kinases, regulation of mammary epithelial cell differentiation, breast carcinogenesis.
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Terry Machen, Professor. Physiology pathophysiology secretory epithelial cells, airway, ion transport, cell regulationm, imaging microscopy, calcium pH redox, electrophysiology, green fluorescent protein, genetic targeting, innate immune defense.
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Michael A. Marletta, Professor. Chemical biology, molecular biology, structure/function relationships in proteins, catalytic and biological properties of enzymes, cellular signaling, nitric oxide synthase, soluble guanylate cyclase, gas sensing, cellulose degradation, polysaccharide monooxygenases.
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Susan Marqusee, Professor. Amino acids, determinants of protein structure and folding, biophysical, structural and computational techniques, translocation, protein synthesis.
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Andreas Martin, Associate Professor. Proteasome.
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G. Steven Martin, Professor. Cell biology, signal transduction pathways, tumor virology, cell division cycle, viral and cellular oncoproteins, breast cancer.
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Barbara J. Meyer, Professor. Developmental biology, gene expression, genetic determination of sex, regulatory genes, chromosome dynamics, X-chromosome.
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Craig Miller, Assistant Professor. Genetics, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, evolution, quantitative genetics, developmental genetics, evolutionary genetics, craniofacial development.
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Evan W. Miller, Assistant Professor.

John Ngai, Professor. Nervous system, molecular and cellular mechanisms of olfaction, detection of odors, odorant receptors, olfactory neurons, DNA microarray technologies, genome-wide patterns of gene expression.
Research Profile

Eva Nogales, Professor. Biochemistry, complex biological assemblies, structure and regulation of the cytoskeleton, microtubule dynamics, human transcriptional initiation machinery, biophysics.
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George Oster, Professor. Computational biology, developmental biology, mathematical modeling of molecular and cellular systems, protein motors, cell motility, spatial pattern formation in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, neural pattern formation.
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Lior Pachter, Professor. Mathematics, applications of statistics, combinatorics to problems in biology.
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Nipam Patel, Professor. Genetics, evolution, crustaceans, insects, arthropods, homeotic (Hox) genes, segmentation, embryonic pattern formation, neural patterning.
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Mu-Ming Poo, Professor. Neurobiology, cellular and molecular mechanisms, axon guidance, synapse formation, activity-dependent refinement of neural circuits.
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Daniel A. Portnoy, Professor. Mammalian cells, molecular and cellular basis of microbial pathogenesis, defense against infection, listeria monocytogenes, cell biology of infection, mechanisms of secretion.
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Michael Rape, Professor. Cancer, protein degradation, siRNA, Berkeley Screening Center.
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David H. Raulet, Professor. Biology, pathogens, viruses, T-cell development and function, natural killer (NK) cells, lymphocyte receptors, microorganisms, cancer cells, tumor immunity.
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+ Jasper D. Rine, Professor. Biology, cell biology, DNA replication, gene regulation, saccharomyces cerevisiae, genetic analysis, genome, cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, modification of proteins, prenylated proteins.
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Donald C. Rio, Professor. Molecular genetics, drosophila melanogaster, transposable elements, RNA splicing, nucleic acid rearrangement reactions, P elements and their cellular host, HIV, proteomic diversification, nucleoprotein complexes.
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Ellen Robey, Professor. Fate determination in the T-lymphocyte lineage, T cell development in the mouse, thymic development, cellular maturation, parasitic infection, chronic infection, host-pathogen interactions, Toxoplasma gondii.
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Henk Roelink, Associate Professor. Stem cells, neural development, embryonic induction.
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Daniel S. Rokhsar, Professor. Biology, collective phenomena and ordering in condensed matter and biological systems, theoretical modeling, computational modeling, behavior of quantum fluids, cold atomic gases, high temperature superconductors, Fermi and Bose systems.
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Kaoru Saijo, Assistant Professor.

David Savage, Assistant Professor. Synthetic biology and metabolism.
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David Schaffer, Professor. Neuroscience, biomolecular engineering, bioengineering, stem cell biology, gene therapy.
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Randy W. Schekman, Professor. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, organelle assembly, intracellular protein transport, assembly of cellular organelles, Alzheimer's Disease.
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Kristin Scott, Professor. Nerve cell connectivity in developing nervous systems, taste perception in the fruit fly, taste neural circuits, sensory maps in the brain.
Research Profile

Bill Sha, Associate Professor. B cell gene regulation, fate determination, gene regulatory pathways, antibody-secreting plasma cells, memory B cells, apoptotic cells, B7 costimulatory ligands.
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+ Nilabh Shastri, Professor. Cancer cells, mechanims of immunesurveillance, microbial pathogens, antigen genes, autoimmunity.
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Sarah Stanley, Assistant Professor.

Jeremy W. Thorner, Professor. Biochemistry, molecular genetics, cell biology, signal transduction mechanisms, protein kinase function and regulation, GPCRs, membrane biology, control of cell growth/morphology and division, regulation of gene expression by extracellular stimuli.
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Robert T. Tjian, Professor. Eukaryotic molecular biology; biochemistry, cellular differentiation, chromatin function, RNA synthesis, single cell imaging, single molecule imaging.
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Elcin Unal, Assistant Professor.

Fyodor Urnov, Associate Adjunct Professor.

Russell E. Vance, Professor. Immunology, microbiology, infectious disease, molecular and cell biology.
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David A. Weisblat, Professor. Annelid developmental biology, leech embryo, evolution and development, cell fate determination, lineage tracingt.
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Matthew D. Welch, Professor. Biology, cell motility, the role of the actin cytoskeleton in cell locomotion, shape change, actin filament assembly, bacterial and viral pathogens.
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Astar Winoto, Professor. Cancer, genomics, apoptosis, innate immunity and infectious diseases, cell cycle, signal transduction, immune tolerance.
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Ahmet Yildiz, Assistant Professor. Single molecule biophysics, molecular motors, telomeres.
Research Profile

Qiang Zhou, Professor. Biochemistry of HIV gene expression, transcriptional elongation, Tat activation, stage of transcriptional elongation, HIV replication, anti-HIV therapy.
Research Profile

Roberto Zoncu, Assistant Professor.

Lecturers

Robin W. Ball, Lecturer.

P. Robert Beatty, Lecturer.

Natalia Caporale, Lecturer.

Isabelle Le Blanc, Lecturer.

Helen Lew, Lecturer.

David E. Presti, Senior Lecturer SOE.

Steve Takata, Lecturer.

Gary Joseph Wedemayer, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Tamira M. Elul, Visiting Associate Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Mark Alper, Professor Emeritus.

Bruce N. Ames, Professor Emeritus. Molecular biology, cancer, aging, mitochondrial decay, oxidants and antioxidants, micronutrient deficiencies and DNA damage, chronic inflammation and cancer.
Research Profile

Giovanna F.-L. Ames, Professor Emeritus.

Clinton E. Ballou, Professor Emeritus.

Steven K. Beckendorf, Professor Emeritus. Genetics, biology, organogenesis, Drosophila, salivary morphogenesis.
Research Profile

David R. Bentley, Professor Emeritus.

Phyllis B. Blair, Professor Emeritus.

Beth Burnside, Professor Emeritus. Cell biology of photoreceptors, cytoskeletal motors, morphogenetic events, photomembrane turnover.
Research Profile

Richard Calendar, Professor Emeritus. Listeria monocytogenes, phage-based integration vector, Bacillus anthracis, vaccine.
Research Profile

W. Zacheus Cande, Professor Emeritus. Genetics, cell biology, microbial biology, plant biology.
Research Profile

M. J. Chamberlin, Professor Emeritus.

Alvin J. Clark, Professor Emeritus.

Thomas W. Cline, Professor Emeritus. Drosophila melanogaster, developmental genetics, sex determination.
Research Profile

R. David Cole, Professor Emeritus.

John Gerhart, Professor Emeritus. Developmental biology, Xenopus laevis, Spemann's organizer, cortical rotation, cell cycle after fertilization, vegetal materials, blastula stage, egg cytoplasm.
Research Profile

Robert M. Glaeser, Professor Emeritus.

Alexander N. Glazer, Professor Emeritus. Photosynthetic systems, phycobiliproteins, design of fluorescent probes, protein structure-function relationships, macromolecular complexes, environmental sciences, natural resource management.
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Stuart M. Linn, Professor Emeritus. Biology, enzymology of DNA metabolism, DNA repair and replication in mammalian cells, mechanisms of DNA damage by reactive oxygen species, structure of iron: DNA complexes, DNA damage and repair, DNA polymerases.
Research Profile

Robert I. Macey, Professor Emeritus.

Howard C. Mel, Professor Emeritus.

Hsiao-Ping H. Moore, Professor Emeritus.

Satyabrata Nandi, Professor Emeritus.

Alexander V. Nichols, Professor Emeritus.

Hiroshi Nikaido, Professor Emeritus. Membrane biochemistry, bacterial physiology, bacteria, channel-forming proteins of the outer membrane, the diffusion of lipophilic compounds, mechanism and regulation of multidrug efflux transport systems, mycobacterial cell wall.
Research Profile

W. Geoffrey Owen, Professor Emeritus. Biology, nervous system, membrane biophysics, retinal neurophysiology.
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Edward E. Penhoet, Professor Emeritus. Public health, health policy and management.
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Gerald M. Rubin, Professor Emeritus. Molecular genetics, molecular neurobiology, mapping and sequencing of the drosophila genome, genome organization and function, development and evolution.
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Harry Rubin, Professor Emeritus. Tumor biology, cell biology, regulation of neoplastic development, epithelial cells, oncogenic mutations, tumor development, RNA and DNA tumor viruses.
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Howard K. Schachman, Professor Emeritus. Physical biochemistry, biological macromolecules, aspartate transcarbamylase, revisiting allostery, holoenzyme, mutations, polypeptide chains, helical regions.
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Herbert H. Srebnik, Professor Emeritus.

Frank S. Werblin, Professor Emeritus. Retina, biological image processing, visual neuroscience.
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Gerald Westheimer, Professor Emeritus. Neurobiology; psychophysics, primate visual cortex, neural circuits, brain mechanisms, response modifications, active perception, learning, stereoscopic vision, optometryoptics of the eye, ophthalmic instrumentation.
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Fred H. Wilt, Professor Emeritus. Molecular embryology; cell biology, the regulation of gene expression, of sea urchin embryos, blastomeres, endoskeletal spicule of the larva, glycoproteins, immunoelectron microscopy, fluorescent labeling.
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Leon Wofsy, Professor Emeritus.

Robert S. Zucker, Professor Emeritus. Synaptic transmission, cellular neurophysiology; synaptic biophysics, properties of neural circuits, photolysis, vital dyes of vesicle membrane, electrophysiological techniques, neuromodulator.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

142 Life Sciences Addition

Phone: 510-642-2651

Visit Department Website

Department Co-Chair

David Drubin, PhD

606 Barker Hall

Phone: 510-642-3692

drubin@berkeley.edu

Department Co-Chair

Nipam Patel, PhD

519A Life Sciences Addition

Phone: 510-643-4605

nipam@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advising

Undergraduate Affairs Office

3060 Valley Life Sciences Building

Phone: 510-643-8895

mcbuao@berkeley.edu

Graduate Advising

Graduate Affairs Office

299 Life Sciences Addition

Phone: 510-642-5252

mcbgao@berkeley.edu

Director of Graduate Student Services

Mark Jenkinson

397 Life Sciences Addition

Phone: 510-642-0944

mjenkinson@berkeley.edu

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