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A solid core of researchers studying the fundamental biological principles underlying human physiology and disease is essential for the success of the UC College of Medicine as a Carnegie R1 research institution. Studies focused on basic molecular mechanisms are pivotal to the pipeline of translational medicine and development of new therapeutics.
The Department of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) has historically been at the forefront of the basic sciences effort in the College of Medicine. Under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Lingrel, MCB built world-class facilities in genome engineering in the 1980s and structural biology in the 1990s. The importance of understanding the basic science underlying human diseases and how this understanding facilitates therapeutic development is most recently exemplified by the research underlying the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. Basic science researchers studying RNA biology, structural biologists studying viral spike proteins, and cell biologists studying liposome mediated gene transfection all played key roles in the rapid development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. Faculty in MCB continue in the tradition of Dr. Lingrel by maintaining robust basic science research programs within the following pillars:
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