The department consists of twenty-two groups offering graduate student positions, comprising the laboratories of Drs. Ruth Angeletti, Nick Baker, Dianne Cox, Ana Maria Cuervo, Bhaskar Das, Todd Evans, Andreas Jenny, Paul Jubinsky, Regina Kuliawat, Umadas Maitra, Ari Melnick, Tamar Michaeli, Anne Müsch, Jeffrey Pollard, Rosamaria Ruggeri, Dennis Shields, Nicholas Sibinga, Alda Tufro, Amit Verma, Duncan Wilson, Liang Zhu and Richard Stanley (Chairman). The major thrust of the Department is macromolecular synthesis, interaction and function in complex biological systems. Research interests in the Department cover four major areas: (1) Cell determination and regulation in blood, heart, kidney, muscle, nervous and reproductive system development (Drs. Angeletti, Baker, Evans, Jenny, Jubinsky, Melnick, Müsch, Pollard, Sibinga, Stanley, Tufro and Verma); (2) Signal transduction pathways regulating cellular function or developmental interactions (Drs. Baker, Cox, Cuervo, Jenny, Jubinsky, Michaeli, Ruggieri, Stanley, Tufro, Verma and Zhu); (3) Cell cycle regulation in normal and neoplastic cells (Drs. Pollard, Ruggieri and Zhu); and (4) Protein synthesis, processing, targeting and intracellular vesicle trafficking (Drs. Cuervo, Kuliawat, Maitra, Müsch, Shields and Wilson). Over the years, many collaborations have developed between the departmental faculty, greatly enriching the academic micro-environment.
The strength of the Department is derived in equal part from the contributions and involvement of the graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who have been encouraged to, and accepted, the challenge of participating as much as possible as equals with the faculty. For example, the students and post-doctoral fellows organize two annual DMB lectures and they have invited some of our most distinguished seminar speakers, including Drs. Mario Capecchi, Peter Walter, Phillip Sharp, Elliot Meyerowitz, Corey Goodman, Richard Scheller, Scott Emr, Eric Lander, Randy Schekman and Larry Zipursky (a former DMB student).
Apart from weekly work-in-progress seminars and the journal clubs in which all graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty participate, the graduate students and post-doctoral fellows meet regularly for Chanin 5th floor parties and other social events. In part due to these informal interactions they have learned how to harness the different technical expertise of the various laboratories to their own particular problems. We are fortunate to have developed a spirit of cooperation, which makes being a member of the department a fruitful and pleasant experience. This is especially evident in events such as the departmental retreats and picnics. The retreats have been held in a mountain lodge in the Shawangunk Mountains in New York, Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and Montauk, Long Island. In addition to formal presentations of research strategies, we discuss ways of improving the function and atmosphere of the department as well as finding time to socialize! Besides these important events, we are also proud of our traditional presentation of skits by both the students/post docs and the faculty at our annual end-of-year party!