An Established Leader in Cutting-edge Research


    A Thriving Environment for Biomedical Discovery

  • Julie Ledford, PhD

    Immunological Roles of Endogenous Lung Proteins

  • Nathan Ellis, PhD

    Aberrant DNA Replication and Genomic Instability

  • Keith Maggert, PhD

    Understanding the Origins of Genome Instability

  • Jean Wilson, PhD

    Cell biology of barrier function in inflammatory bowel diseases

  • Samantha Harris, PhD

    Understanding Myosin Binding Protein-C in Health and Disease


    Training Our Next Leaders in Biomedical Research

  • Gus Mouneimne, PhD

    Understanding How Cytoskeletal Architecture Regulates Cancer Metastasis

  • Casey Romanoski, PhD

    Systems Genetics Approaches to Identify Mechanisms of Complex Diseases

  • Noel Warfel, PhD

    Modeling the Effects of Hypoxia on Cancer Cells and Tumor Angiogenesis

  • Brett Colson, PhD

    Deciphering the Structural Basis for Muscle Contraction at the Molecular Level

  • Jared Churko, PhD

    Informatics to Understand Cardiovascular Development and Disease Mechanisms

  • Darren Cusanovich, PhD

    Understanding How the Genome Regulates Diverse Cell Types in Development and Disease

  • Tom Doetschman, PhD

    Synergistic Activities of TGFbeta Deficiency and the Gut Microbiome in Colon Cancer


Message from the Chair

The mission of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM) is to provide pre- and post-doctoral, medical and graduate education in an interdisciplinary environment through research activities, to advance knowledge of biological structure as related to function and disease from the molecular level to the whole organism.


Dr. Balasz Kiss publishes in PNAS (October 19, 2018)

Balasz Kiss, PhD – a CMM postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Henk Granzier's lab - and colleagures recently published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) about the role of nebulin, a giant sarcomeric, actin-binding protein found in skeletal muscle.  Using X-ray diffraction, it was found that thin filaments are threefold more extensible in nebulin-knockout living muscle. Kiss and colleagues conclude that loss of nebulin's physiological function impairs other thin filament regulatory proteins and interferes with force generation - therefore, nebulin acts to stiffen thin filaments and is responsible for generating physiological levels of force.

Dr. Sara Parker publishes in eNeuro (October 3, 2018)

Sara Parker, PhD – a CMM postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Gus Mouneimne’s lab - together with colleagues in the departments of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, an Immunobiology have recently published a new study in the journal eNeuro entitled “High Fidelity Cryopreservation and Recovery of Primary Rodent Cortical Neurons".  Cryopreservation is the process of freezing biological materials, and is used routinely for the storage of cell lines. Certain cells, however, are extremely sensitive to cryostorage, and cannot be frozen such as primary neurons isolated from mouse or rat embryos, which show extremely poor viability when subjected to standard cryopreservation methodologies. Dr. Parker and colleagues, experimenting with a specialty cryopreservation reagent designed for clinical-grade storage of human stem and primary cells, found that this reagent substantially improved the viability of cryopreserved neurons, yielding cells that were indistinguishable from freshly dissected neurons. This experimental tool not only improves efficiency and maximizes utilization of animal-sourced materials, it also facilitates greater collaboration between laboratories.

Dr. Darren Cusanovich publishes in Cell (August 2, 2018)

Darren Cusanovich, PhD, led a study published in the most recent issue of Cell presenting a single-cell atlas of chromatin (how the genome is packaged in the nucleus of a cell) patterns in adult mice based on data from almost 100,000 individual cells. Their work sheds light on how the various cell types present in mammals are able to accomplish such different functions while referencing the same genome. This resource may ultimately help us to understand precisely how human diseases develop and manifest in complex tissues.

Dr. Marco Padilla-Rodriguez publishes in Nature Communications (August 1, 2018)

Marco Padilla-Rodriguez, PhD – a recent CMM graduate from Dr. Gus Mouneimne’s lab- and colleagues have recently published a new study in Nature Communications highlighting estrogen’s dual effects of promoting tumor growth in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer, and suppressing tumor invasion through actin cytoskeletal remodeling.

Dr. Diana Darnell promoted to full Professor (July 2, 2018)

Congratulations to CMM's own Diana Darnell, PhD for her promotion to full Professor, Educator Scholar Track! 

Farah Bughio receives Donald G. Sheer Travel Award (June 26, 2018)

CMM would like to extend a warm congratulations to Farah Bughio (Maggert lab), recipient of a 2018 Donald G. Sheer Memorial Fund travel grant!  This fund provides stipends to graduate students to allow them to travel to scientific conferences and meetings in the health sciences to present their research.  Great job, Farah!

Upcoming Events

New Research Approaches for EM
Tuesday 9:00am
Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, Room 325

Seminar in Cardiovascular Biology: Rhye Kanassatega and Lauren Schultz
Friday 9:00am
Sarver Heart Center, Rm. 4137

GPMM Student Seminar - Lauren Schultz, PhD Candidate
Tuesday 12:30pm
MRB 102

GPMM Student Seminar - Farah Bughio, PhD Student
Tuesday 12:30pm
MRB 102

GPMM Student Seminar - Alice Solomon, PhD Student
Tuesday 12:30pm
MRB 102


MD/PhD student Jessika Iwanski (center; Dr. Gregorio's lab) poses with other graduate students at the 2018 Arizona BioRetreat! (9/21/2018)!