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Cellular Biochemistry

What is Cellular Biochemistry?

Cellular Biochemistry research puts molecular findings into a cellular context to learn how cells carry out their multitude of incredible functions and abilities.

What is the impact of our research in Cellular Biochemistry?

  • The mechanisms by which cells sense size and shape to coordinate their division timing is a subject of investigation in our department. When cellular growth and division become decoupled, cells can grow out of control, leading to cancer. Find out more here.
  • Our department investigates how information is transferred from one generation to the next during reproduction, including the mechanisms that guide cell fate decisions and pattern formation in the embryo. A key finding is that both the maternal and paternal environment can impact how the offspring express information stored in the DNA, and that this effect can last for multiple generations. Find out more here and here.
  • Membrane trafficking is a fundamental biological mechanism required for a wide variety of processes including insulin secretion from the pancreas, myelin formation on nerve cells, and cell division during tissue growth. Our department is investigating how cells know when and where to traffic membranes to growing parts of a cell, and how membranes fuse to deliver proteins and molecules to other cells and the blood stream. This work gave rise to a molecular understanding of the cause of Severe Congenital Neutropenia. Find out more here.

 

Who's studying Cellular Biochemistry?

 

  • Anthony Imbalzano

    Anthony Imbalzano, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Morningside Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences; Associate Dean in the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Gene Expression & Epigenetics

    Research Interest: The Imbalzano Lab studies the role of chromatin remodeling in cell fate specification and maintenance.

    Key Words: Chromatin remodeling, gene expression, development, cancer, mesenchymal cells, myogenesis, adipogenesis

    Research Tools: Cell Culture, M. musculus (mouse)

    Broader Impact: Breast Cancer

    he/him/his
    Office Location: LRB 813
    Lab Location: LRB 870 H
    Phone: 508-856-1029

    Lab Page

  • Brian Kelch

    Brian Kelch, PhD

    Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Biophysics & Macromolecular Structures, Cellular Biochemistry

    Research Interest: The Kelch Lab utilizes structural biology and biochemistry to reveal the workings of large macromolecular complexes, with a special focus on those involved in DNA replication/repair and virus assembly. 

    Research Tools: E. coli (bacteria), S. cerevisiae (yeast), T. thermophilus (bacteria), H. sapiens (human)

    Broader Impact: cancer, PARD, infectious disease

    he/him/his
    Office Location: LRB 923
    Lab Location: LRB 970 H-G
    Phone: 508-856-8322

    Lab Page

     

  • Daniel Bolon

    Daniel Bolon, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Computational Biochemistry

    Category: CLIM/Ldb cofactors,disease prevention

    Research Interest: The Bolon Lab investigates relationships between protein sequence, structure and function.

    Broader Impact: COVID-19, cancer, HIV

    Office Location: LRB 922
    Lab Location: LRB 960 E-D
    Phone: 508-856-3588

    Lab Page

  • Dannel McCollum

    Dannel McCollum, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology; Vice Chair of Faculty Advancement for the Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology Department

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry

    Research Interest: The McCollum Lab studies how cells sense mechanical forces through the Hippo pathway.

    Key Words:
    Cancer, mechano-signaling, Hippo pathway, YAP/TAZ

    Research Tools: Cell culture

    Broader Impact: cancer, wound repair

    Office Location: LRB 823
    Lab Location: LRB 870 N
    Phone: 508-856-8767

    Lab Page

  • Gang Han

    Gang Han, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Chemical Biology

    Research Interest: The Han lab uses a multidisciplinary approach to develop nanomaterials for use in chemistry and biology research and in drug delivery.

    Office Location: LRB 806
    Lab Location: LRB 870 U
    Phone: 508-856-3297


    Lab Page

  • Josué Flores Kim

    Josué Flores Kim, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology.

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Gene Expression & Epigenetics

    Research Interest: The Flores Kim lab studies how bacteria build their cell envelopes and how antimicrobials disrupt these processes.

    Key Words: bacterial cell envelope; antibiotic resistance; antibiotic tolerance

    Research Tools: We use a combination of classical, modern and chemical genetic screens with biochemical and high-resolution imaging analyses. 

    Broader Impact: drug resistant and tolerant bacterial infections

    he/him/his
    Office Location: LRB 915
    Lab Location: LRB 970 U
    Phone: 508-856-6260

    Lab Page

  • Julia Flynn

    Julia Flynn, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology; Member of the Bolon Lab.

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Computational Biochemistry

    Research Interest: Dr. Flynn investigates how changes in DNA sequence impact protein function.

    Key Words: drug resistance, protein adaptation, protein folding, evolution, mutagenesis, deep mutational scanning

    Research Tools: S. cerevisiae (yeast)

    Broader Impact: cancer, SARS-CoV2

    she/her/hers
    Lab Location: LRB 960 D
    Phone: 508-856-4418

  • Mary Munson

    Mary Munson, PhD

    Professor and Vice Chair for Diversity, Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology; Assistant Vice Provost, Office of Health Equity; co-leader of the Investigator Career Advancement Program (iCAP); Co-investigator for the American Society for Cell Biology's MOSAIC Program; Co-chair of the ASCB’s Women in Cell Biology Committee (WICB); incoming ASCB President in 2025; Faculty Advisor, UMass Chan-SACNAS student chapter

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Biophysics & Macromolecular Structures, Cellular Biochemistry

    Research Interest: The Munson lab studies vesicle trafficking machinery and how specificity in vesicle targeting and fusion is achieved. 

    Key Words: membrane trafficking, exocytosis, endocytosis, exocyst, VPS45, SNAREs, vesicle fusion, neutropenia

    Research Tools: protein and membrane biochemistry, biophysics, cryoEM, yeast and mammalian cell biology, immunology, mouse models of disease

    Broader Impact: immune dysfunction, cancer, neurological disorders

    she/her/hers
    Office Location: 
    LRB 905
    Lab Location: LRB 970 P, Q, R
    Phone: 508-856-8318

    Lab Page

  • Mohan Somasundaran

    Mohan Somasundaran, PhD

    Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology; Member of the Schiffer Lab

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Biophysics & Macromolecular Structures, Cellular Biochemistry

    Research Interest: The Somasundaran team studies how cells and viruses interact with each other to develop molecular diagnostics and new antiviral therapies. 

    Research Tools: cell culture, M. musculus (mouse)

    Broader Impact: HIV, EBV, infectious mononucleosis, influenza, SARS-CoV1, SARS-CoV2, cancer

    Office Location: LRB 960 E
    Phone: 508-856-4408

    Lab Page

     

  • Nick Rhind

    Nick Rhind, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Gene Expression & Epigenetics

    Research Interest: The Rhind lab studies cell size regulation and temporal coordination of DNA replication

    Key Words: DNA replication, cell cycle, cell size, replication kinetics

    Research Tools: S. cerevisiae (yeast)

    Broader Impact: Cancer

    Office Location: LRB 904
    Lab Location: LRB 940 E-D
    Phone: 508-856-8316

    Lab Page

  • Oliver J. Rando

    Oliver J. Rando, MD, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Cellular Biochemistry, Computational Biochemistry, Gene Expression & Epigenetics

    Research Interest: The Rando Lab studies the role of epigenetic inheritance in programming health and disease.

    Key Words: epigenetics, chromatin, small non-coding RNA, embryology, spermatogenesis

    Research Tools: S. cerevisiae (yeast), M. musculus (mouse), C. elegans (nematode worm)

    Broader Impact: Paternal environments can affect diabetes, metabolic syndrome, anxiety, schizophrenia and more.

    he/him/his
    Office Location: LRB 906
    Lab Location: LRB 940 A-C &
    LRB 970 X-Y
    Phone: 508-856-8879

    Lab Page

  • Peter Pryciak

    Peter Pryciak, PhD

    Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Gene Expression & Epigenetics

    Research Interest: Dr. Pryciak studies how protein kinases regulate cell signaling and the cell cycle.

    Key Words: MAP kinases (MAPKs), cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), short linear motifs (SLiMs)

    Research Tools: S. cerevisiae (yeast)

    Office Location: LRB 822
    Lab Location: LRB 870 P
    Phone: 508-856-8756
     
    Lab Page

  • Sean Ryder

    Sean Ryder, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology; Vice Chair of Outreach for the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Cellular Biochemistry, Gene Expression & Epigenetics

    Research Interest: The Ryder Lab studies the role of egg (maternal) mRNA in embryonic development.

    Key Words:
    RNA, oogenesis, embryogenesis, germline development, protein-RNA interactions

    Research Tools: C. elegans (nematode worm)

    Broader Impact: Reproductive health, microdeletion syndromes, genome editing, RNA therapeutics

    he/him/his
    Office Location: LRB 906
    Lab Location: LRB 970 W
    Phone: 508-856-1372
     
    Lab Page

  • Stephen Miller

    Stephen Miller, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Chemical Biology

    Research Interest: The Miller Lab develops optical imaging probes, ranging from the design of new fluorescent molecules to engineered luciferins and luciferases for in vivo bioluminescence imaging. 

    Key Words: bioluminescence, fluorescence, near-infrared, imaging, probes, chemical biology 

    Research Tools: fluorescence microscopy, synthetic organic chemistry, bioluminescence imaging, AAV transduction, mouse models, mammalian cell culture, spectrophotometry, NMR, mammalian cell culture, M. musculus (mouse)

    Broader Impact: optical probes are broadly applicable to study many different diseases

    he/him/his
    Office Location: LRB 805
    Lab Location: LRB 870 X
    Phone: 508-856-8865

    Lab Page

  • Summer Thyme

    Summer Thyme, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Cellular Biochemistry, Computational Biochemistry, Gene Expression & Epigenetics

    Research Interest: The Thyme Lab studies neurodevelopmental disorders using zebrafish.

    Key Words
    : zebrafish, neurodevelopmental disorder, intellectual disability, Down syndrome, drug discovery, computation, genomics, mRNA, scRNA-seq, genome-editing, CRISPR, protein engineering

    Research Tools: zebrafish, CRISPR

    Broader Impact: developing treatments for intellectual disability in neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Office Location: LRB 803
    Lab Location: LRB 870 R/S
    Phone: 508-856-3251
     
    Lab Page

  • William R. Kobertz

    William R. Kobertz, PhD

    Professor Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry, Chemical Biology

    Research Interest: The Kobertz Lab develops new tools to study the roles of glycosylation in ion channel localization and function. 

    Broader Impact: Cardiac arrythmias, hearing loss

    Office Location: LRB 804
    Lab Location: LRB 840 C
    Phone: 508-856-8861

    Lab Page

  • Zuoshang Xu

    Zuoshang Xu, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

    Type: Primary

    Areas of Research: Biochemical Mechanisms, Cellular Biochemistry

    Research Interest: the Xu lab studies the mechanism of and therapy for ALS using mouse and other models.

    Research Tools: M. musculus (mouse)

    Broader Impact: ALS

    Office Location: LRB 817
    Lab Location: LRB 870 J, K
    Phone: 508-856-3309
     
    Lab Page


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