Cell Biology, Development & Cancer

Development of metazoan organisms depends on precise cell-intrinsic controls of cell fate regulators, as well as complex intercellular communications and instructive cues from the extracellular matrices. Corruption of these regulatory pathways often results in the formation and progression of malignant tumors. Research in developmental biology, cell biology and cancer has co-evolved over the years to provide a coherent understanding of the molecular wiring of cellular processes in physiological and malignant conditions. With a long tradition at Princeton, Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology unites research groups from the Departments of Molecular Biology, Engineering, Physics and Genomics that share a common interest in deciphering mechanisms of animal development, cellular dynamics and oncogenesis. We combine genetic, biochemical, cell biological, and computational approaches with sophisticated imaging and molecular technologies to investigate fundamental processes such as egg formation, embryonic patterning, cellular differentiation, morphogenesis, physical and biochemical properties of extracellular matrix, tumor-stromal interactions and cancer metastasis. Our research takes advantage of model organisms, including flies, worms, fish, and mice to identify molecules that control development and to investigate their roles in various diseases including cancer. Students will find varied course offerings and diverse research opportunities that together provide rigorous yet personalized training in a collaborative environment.