Welcome to the Department of Cell Biology!

The Department of Cell Biology is one of eight basic science departments in the Duke School of Medicine. Our primary faculty, now numbering 18, represent a broad array of research interests, such as cellular neuroscience, protein trafficking & translation, stem cells & regeneration, and cytoskeleton & membrane biology, to name a few. Together, led by Chair, Dr. Brigid Hogan, they strive to excel in basic biomedical research at the cellular, molecular, structural, and organismal level.

Another major component of our mission is to ensure that our medical students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows are well prepared for successful careers in clinical, academic, and non-academic settings. Currently, we have 36 graduate student trainees and 25 postdoctoral fellows working in the labs. Our students enter through other programs and interdisciplinary departments around the Medical School, primarily Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB), Developmental and Stem Cell Biology (DSCB), and the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG). Students who elect to stay in Cell Biology after their research rotations join our graduate program under the supervision of Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), Dr. Scott Soderling. Department members, both faculty and staff, are committed to working together to generate a supportive, enthusiastic, and diverse environment that fosters innovative and creative ideas.


Most of our laboratories are housed in the Nanaline Duke Building on Research Drive, though two faculty have their labs in the Genome Science Research Building II (GSRB), which houses state-of-the-art animal facilities and experimental procedure rooms. Several of our secondary affiliated who are graduate student advisors have labs in the Levine Science Research Center (LSRC), across the street from the Nanaline Duke building. The Duke University Postdoctoral Association (DUPA) provides information and advice for fellows at all stages of their careers, and is housed in the Sands building (next door to Nanaline on Research Drive).

Duke Medical Center provides a superb environment for collaborations, in particular between basic scientists and clinicians. The Research Triangle area offers many opportunities for wider interactions, for example, with scientists in the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the biotech industry, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and elsewhere. Many members of our faculty have collaborated extensively with members of other basic science and clinical Departments across the University as well as with the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy (IGSP), the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Program, the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and the schools of Biology and Bioengineering.

The Department takes seriously its responsibility for medical and graduate education. Under the leadership of Drs. Jennifer Carbrey, Tom McIntosh, and Mimi Jakoi, medical students learn basic cell and molecular biology, histology, microanatomy, and physiology in the context of current and potential clinical applications. Faculty for the Department participate in many graduate courses listed under Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry. The Department also co-hosts special guest lecturers from other universities and institutions on a regular basis as a part of our full program of seminars and colloquia, including a Semi-Annual Retreat. Our In-House seminar series provides students and postdoctoral fellows with the opportunity to present their recent research, report progress in their projects, and to receive feedback from faculty as well as their peers. Click here to go to our Calendar of Events for more information about our weekly In-House Thursday Seminar Series.

Finally, the Duke campus and surrounding areas offer a wide variety of choices of artistic, cultural, and recreational things to do and places to go. From late night entertainment to weekend festivities, there is always something going on, and our students, postdocs, faculty, and their families delight in being a part of such a rich, active community.

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