U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology

Jurrien Dean, M.D., Chief

​About the Lab/Branch

The Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology investigates molecular mechanisms that control differentiation and development in a wide range of model organisms to better understand normal biology and provide insight into human disease.​

​Current Research

The laboratory investigates developmentally programmed gene expression, functional genomics, and chromatin and epigenetic modifications, particularly as they relate to cellular differentiation and organismal development.  These processes regulate gene expression, signal transduction in multi-cellular organisms, chemotaxis, sex determination, fertilization, and early development.
 
Scientists within the laboratory utilize a variety of simple and multicellular model systems, including cultured cells, Dictyostelium, Drosophila, and mice.  Studies exploit modern cell and molecular experimental techniques including genetic mutation, transgenesis, state-of-the-art imaging, and computational analysis of genome-wide datasets that include gene expression profiling and analysis of chromatin organization.
 
The primary goal of the research conducted in the laboratory is to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms of normal biology, disruption of which leads to abnormal cell differentiation and development.
 
Basic research into the molecular mechanisms of development holds the promise of discovering new avenues for therapeutic intervention in disruptions of human biology that cause disease.