Cell & Developmental Biology

UPenn Cell & Developmental Biology

Training Program in Developmental Biology


Developmental biology is entering a period of extraordinary discovery and research in this field will have a broad impact on the biomedical sciences in the next century. Developmental Biology is interdisciplinary and involves the application of techniques and concepts from genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, embryology and biochemistry to attack and understand complex developmental mechanisms in plants and animals, from fertilization to aging. Many of the same genes that regulate developmental processes underlie human regulatory gene disorders such as cancer and serve as the genetic basis of common human birth defects. An understanding of fundamental mechanisms of development is providing a basis for the design of gene and cellular therapies for the treatment of many human diseases.

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral training is offered in laboratories using molecular, genetic, and cellular approaches to study the developmental roles of cell signaling and gene transcription in embryonic animals and plants. Some of the developmental events studied include: cell lineage determination and differentiation (Kadesch, Bucher, Jongens, Ruiz, Poethig, Bartolomei, Schultz), pattern formation and morphogenesis (Klein, Mullins), organogenesis (Kessler, Finkelstein, Weinberg), cell death (Bonini, Pittman), and inter- and intracellular signaling (Buck, Lo, Granato, Raper, Fortini, Stein). These labs provide research training in the areas of developmental genetics of vertebrates (including mouse, frog, and zebrafish) and invertebrates (including worms and flies), as well as the application of molecular and cell biological technologies (including cell and embryo culture, transgenesis, gene knockouts, sophisticated image analysis, and biochemistry).

Postdoctoral trainees with Ph.D. or combined degrees and American citizenship or permanent visas are eligible to enter the program. Admission will be at the entry level, immediately following graduate training in the case of Ph.D. students, and residency for applicants with combined degrees. All trainees appointed to the program will be expected to have demonstrated their research ability through publication of their graduate thesis research and to provide evidence of their promise as independent investigators. Preference will be given to applicants who receive their graduate training at other institutions and are expanding their training experience. Penn is a major research center and provides extensive exposure to all aspects of modern biomedical research through its own research programs, courses offered by BGS and the Biology graduate group, visits from distiguished faculty from all over the world, and day-long retreats organized, for example, by the Center for Developmental Biology, Institute for Human Gene Therapy, the Cancer Center, the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, the Center for Research in Reproduction Biology and Women's Health, and the Fetal Surgery Unit at Children's Hospital.


Dept. of Cell & Developmental Biology
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6058
Tel: (215) 573-9306
Fax: (215) 898-9871