Cell Biology

Cell Biology research at IUPUI includes a diverse range of science.  Cells are the basis of all life, and cellular activities control the workings of tissues and organs, which determine the health and well-being of the organism.  Cell biology combines approaches and methods from various disciplines, including biochemistry, genetics and developmental biology.  Biology faculty investigate numerous topics in cell biological research, including the cytoskeleton, cell adhesion, multiprotein complex assembly, cell physiology, intracellular signaling and cellular development mechanisms.  These research topics also have specific medical relevance for conditions like renal disease, bone repair and neural disorders.

Cell biology laboratories have extensive research resources within the Biology Department, the School of Science and across the IUPUI campus, which include state-of-the-art microscopy, molecular genetics, proteomics, cell sorting and mouse genetics.

Faculty research:

  • Atkinson laboratory examines 1) Rho GTPase signaling and cytoskeletal organization in normal and ischemic kidney epithelial cells; 2) Cellular mechanisms and therapeutic uses of RNAi in the kidney.
  • Baucum laboratory focuses on identification and characterization of synaptic protein complexes in a brain region called the striatum.
  • Belecky-Adams laboratory examines several aspects of visual system function, including 1) the dynamics of chromatin organization in retinal and optic nerve development and disease, 2) understanding the photoreceptor in health and disease, 3) the regeneration of the retina and optic nerve.  Our findings can be directly translated into new preventative and therapeutic tools for the treatment of such diseases as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and Joubert syndrome.
  • Blazer-Yost laboratory examines regulation of epithelial cell ion transport in health and disease.
  • Dai laboratory examines hepatic stellate cells as progenitor cells in liver physiology and pathology.
  • Kusmierczyk laboratory is developing cell biological tools to study the assembly of multi-protein complexes.  Specifically, the use of fluorescence microscopy to study the assembly, localization, and function of the proteasome.
  • Li laboratory research activities include understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of mechanotransduction, the process of conversion of mechanical signals into biological signals in bone cells, and studying cell based therapy for bone fracture repair and tissue regeneration.
  • Marrs laboratory examines cellular development mechanisms, including neural development, using the zebrafish model.
  • Meyer laboratory uses human induced pluripotent stem cells to study mechanisms of neural fate determination, with a particular focus on the retina of the eye.  Additional studies focus on the ability to use patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells to understand mechanisms of neurological diseases.