Cell Biology Faculty

Yashi Ahmed, M.D., Ph.D.


Yashi Ahmed

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 613 Vail

Phone: 603-646-5240

The evolutionarily conserved Wnt signal transduction pathway directs cell proliferation and differentiation during animal development and tissue homeostasis. Despite the fact that deregulation of Wnt signaling underlies numerous developmental disorders and cancers, including nearly all colorectal cancers, many of these mechanisms remain poorly understood. The long-term goal of research in the Ahmed Lab is to elucidate the mechanisms that activate Wnt signaling during animal development using a Drosophila model and to use this knowledge to identify control points in the pathway susceptible to therapeutic targeting in Wnt-driven diseases.

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Amanda Amodeo

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Office:  223 Life Sciences Center

Phone:  603-646-9926

My lab seeks to uncover how cell size, zygotic genome activation, chromatin regulation, and the cell cycle come together to regulate early development in the Drosophila embryo. We use a combination of quantitative imaging, cell biology, genetics, genomics, biochemistry, and mathematical modeling to answer questions about how cells sense fundamental biological properties such as their size and developmental stage.

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Prachee Avasthi, Ph.D.


Prachee Avasthi

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office:  Vail 409A

Phone:  603-646-5177

We are a fundamental cell biology lab using genetics, bioche­mistry, chemical biology, microscopy, and quantitative image analysis to probe how signaling and trafficking coordinate to build higher order cytoskeletal structures. We use the simplest and most powerful model system appropriate for our studies, a yeast-like alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii,to study a conserved microtubule-based sensory organelle, the cilium. Defects in cilia, which are found on nearly all human cells, can cause blindness, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and other disorders.  We also study organization and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, which we previously found has a major role in ciliary assembly. Lab projects span a wide array of topics including cytoskeletal dynamics, intracellular trafficking, and signal-dependent organelle regulation.

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Charles K. Barlowe, Ph.D.


Charles Barlowe

James C. Chilcott 1920 Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 414 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5180

My research group investigates intracellular trafficking and we seek to understand the molecular mechanisms that control protein transport and quality control in the early secretory pathway. We use a multidisciplinary approach that includes biochemistry, molecular genetics, proteomics and microscopy in model systems.

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Magdalena Bezanilla, Ph.D.

Magdalena Bezanilla.jpg

Magdalena Bezanilla

Ernest Everett Just 1907 Professor of Biological Sciences

Chair of the MCB Program

Office: LSC 334

Phone: 603-646-2314

My research aims to understand how molecules within cells impart geometric information ultimately leading to cell shape determination. Research in my lab seeks to identify molecules within the cell that control cellular patterning. We are particularly interested in the role of regulators of the cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking and have pioneered the use of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Using the unusually rapid transgenic capabilities of moss, we are pursuing novel approaches to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying plant cell shape.

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Sharon E. Bickel, Ph.D.


Sharon Bickel
Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 237 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-0245

Chromosome segregation errors in human oocytes are the leading cause of miscarriages and birth defects and their frequency increases dramatically as women age. Work in my laboratory is focused on defining the pathway of events necessary for chromosomes to "do the right thing"" during meiosis and understanding the molecular events that cause reduced fidelity of meiotic chromosome segregation as oocytes age.

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Giovanni Bosco, Ph.D.


Giovanni Bosco

Oscar M. Cohn Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 609A Vail

Phone: 646-5241

We are interested in understanding how nuclear architecture, chromosome morphology and chromatin structure are modified in response to developmental cues and environmental factors. We are also interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms through which these modifications function and effect specialized cellular processes.

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TY Chang, Ph.D.

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    Chang TY
  • Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • Office: 304 Vail
  • Phone: 603-650-1622

  • TAcyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) is a membrane protein located in the endoplasmic reticulum. It catalyzes the formation of cholesteryl esters from cholesterol and long-chain fatty acyl-coenzyme A. Cholesteryl ester is the storage form of cholesterol. The first gene encoding the enzyme ACAT1 was identified in our laboratory. We have also purified this protein to homogeneity and characterized it biochemically. In many neurodegenerative diseases, the cholesterol-rich microdomains in the membranes of various cell types are disrupted. We have shown that in mouse models for Alzheimer's disease and for Niemann Pick type C disease, inactivating ACAT1 can divert the cholesterol storage pool, such that the "mobilized cholesterol" can repair the disrupted cholesterol-rich microdomains. Future investigations are directed to develop novel ACAT inhibitors to ameliorate Alzheimer's disease, Niemann-Pick type C disease, and atherosclerosis. We will also use biochemical and biophysical approaches to identify the active sites and regulatory sites in ACAT1 and to investigate the mechanistic consequence of inhibiting ACAT in macrophages, neurons, microglia, and astrocytes. 

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Michael D. Cole, Ph.D.


Michael Cole

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

633 Rubin

Phone: 603-653-9975 

Our studies that focus on the genetic events involved in the induction of cancer provide an opportunity to define the molecular basis of the disease and to study the regulation and function of important eukaryotic genes that control cell proliferation.

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Duane A. Compton, Ph.D.


Duane Compton

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Dean of Geisel School of Medicine

Office: 413 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5190

We investigate the mechanisms that regulate accurate chromosome segregation in human cells and the causes of chromosomal instability in tumors.

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Patrick J. Dolph, Ph.D.


Patrick Dolph

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 351 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-1092

Our laboratory utilizes Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to study retinal degeneration and molecular mechanisms of cell death.

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Jay C. Dunlap, Ph.D.


Jay C. Dunlap

Nathan Smith Professor of Genetics, Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 702 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5247

Work in the Dunlap lab is directed towards understanding circadian biology, the means by which biological clocks operate, are reset by the environment, and control the metabolism of cells. More recently a second effort has nucleated around high throughput functional genomics of filamentous fungi including Neurospora and Aspergillus spp.

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Scott A. Gerber, Ph.D.


Scott Gerber

Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology, and Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Associate Director of QBS Program

Office: 734 Rubin

Phone: 603-653-3679 

Research in the Gerber Lab is focused on developing and using modernproteomics methods to understand the mechanisms by which dysregulated mitotic kinases, such as Aurora kinase A, contribute to the onset and maintenance of cancers.

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Erik E. Griffin, Ph.D.


Erik Griffin

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 348 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-8269

We are interested in understanding how protein concentration gradients are generated in the cytoplasm and contribute to cell fate specification during development. We combine live imaging, biochemical and genetic approaches to study a series of cytoplasmic protein gradients that help pattern the early C. elegans embryo. 

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Matthew Havrda

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office:   751 Rubin

Phone:   653-9933

Dr. Havrda lab is interested in characterizing neurodegenerative and neoplastic disorders of the central nervous system. Work in the laboratory is focused on two main themes: The characterization of inflammasomes and pyroptotic processes impacting the health of the aging brain and the study of how the neuronal microenvironment impacts the initiation and progress of gliomas in adults and children.

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Bing He, Ph.D.


Bing He

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 350 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-2649 

I am interested in how complex tissue and organ structures arise from simple tissue primordia. Using an interdisciplinary approach combining genetics, cell biology, biophysics and mathematical modeling, we seek to understand how developmental patterning information controls individual cell shape changes and how they are integrated into stereotyped tissue-scale deformations.

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Henry N. Higgs, Ph.D.


Henry Higgs

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, John La Porte Given Professor in Cytology

Office: 403 Vail

Phone: 603-646-5193

Mammalian cells use actin filaments in a huge number of ways, and we are trying to figure out how cells control when and where specific actin-based structures are made. We use a combination of cellular (live-cell microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, EM, cell-free assays) and biochemical (actin polymerization kinetics, analytical ultracentrifugation, structural analysis) in our research.

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Robert A. Hill Ph.D.


Robert Hill

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Office:  344 Life Sciences Center

Phone:  603-646-6428

We study the multicellular interactions between neurons and glia in the brain with a primary focus on the development, plasticity, and regeneration of myelinating oligodendrocytes. Techniques include high-resolution optical imaging in combination with molecular labels, genetic manipulation, and sensors of cellular physiology.

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Michael B. Hoppa, Ph.D.


Michael Hoppa

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Co-Director of Integrative Neuroscience at Dartmouth Graduate Program

Office: 345 Life Sciences

Phone: 603-646-8850

We explore the molecular mechanisms that control ion channel localization, expression and function in primary neurons using quantitative optical approaches in combination with genetic and biochemical tools. 


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Dionna M. Kasper


Dionna M. Kasper, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office:  706A Remsen

Phone:   603-646-5254

Brief research description:

The Kasper lab investigates how vascular endothelial cells adopt alternate cell fates to become hematopoietic stem cells or lymphatic progenitors. We use a combination of live imaging, genetic and biochemical approaches, and high-throughput 'omic' technologies in the zebrafish embryo to dissect how epigenetic to posttranslational gene regulatory mechanisms control these important developmental decisions.

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Arminja N. Kettenbach, Ph.D.


Arminja Kettenbach

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 763 Rubin 
Phone: 603-653-9067 

Research in the lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which phosphatases contribute to phosphorylation-dependent signal transduction in mitosis. We use cell biological, biochemical, and proteomics approaches to decipher the connectivity and complexity of these signaling events in normal and cancer cells. 

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Steven D. Leach, M.D.


Steven Leach

Director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: DH, Rubin Building, Room 801

Phone: 603-653-3611 

The Leach lab studies pancreatic developmental, epithelial and tumor biology, using mouse, zebrafish and human model sytems. 

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Wei-Lih Lee, Ph.D.


Wei-Lih Lee
Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, Room 224

Phone: 603-646-8706

I am interested in understanding how eukaryotic cells organize, position, and segregate their organelles during asymmetric cell divisions. We combine classical genetics and live-cell microscopy with biochemical and biophysical techniques to elucidate the molecular pathways that regulate the microtubule cytoskeleton and the motor proteins responsible for organellar interaction and positioning in our model system budding yeast.

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Jennifer J. Loros, Ph.D.


Jennifer Loros

Professor of Biochemistry, and Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 704 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5247

Our laboratories are interested in the genetic and molecular dissection of circadian systems in eukaryotic cells with a research emphasis on the fungus Neurospora and mammalian tissue culture. The circadian system comprises the core molecular feedback loop, how this loop feeds information to the cell and organism and how input to the loop via temperature changes and photoreceptors is regulated.

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Bryan W. Luikart, Ph.D.


Bryan Luikart

Associate Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 604 Vail

Phone: 603-646-5258

We are interested in how gene mutations that cause autism alter neuronal development and function. To study this we engineer viruses to perform in vivo genetic manipulations and employ electrophysiology and multi-photon microscopy to study the impact of genetic manipulations on neuronal function. 


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Dean R. Madden, Ph.D.


Dean Madden

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Dartmouth Vice Provost for Research

Office: 408A Vail

Phone: 603-646-5197

Structure and function of ion channels and proteins that regulate their intracellular trafficking.

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James B. Moseley, Ph.D.


James Moseley

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 412 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5202

Many cell types delay cell cycle transitions until they reach a critical size threshold. We are studying the cellular mechanisms that measure size, and their role in coordinating cell growth and division.

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Diwakar Pattabiraman Ph.D.


Diwakar Pattabiraman

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology, and Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Office: Rubin 602

Phone: 603-653-9957 

Our research focuses on understanding the genetic, epigenetic, signaling and cell biological aspects of tumor progression and metastasis in carcinomas. We study the role of transitions in epithelial and mesenchymal states within carcinomas as a model of understanding intratumoral heterogeneity to develop novel ways of overcoming metastatic progression and therapy resistance.

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Benjamin D. Ross, Ph.D.


ben ross
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Office:  504A Vail Building

Phone:  603-646-5388

The bacteria resident in the human gastrointestinal tract (the gut microbiota) potently influence diverse aspects of human health, including immunity. However, the forces that govern the composition of the gut microbiota are poorly understood. Our work focuses on a mechanistic, ecological, and evolutionary understanding of how interbacterial interactions between members of the dominant Gram-negative bacteria in the gut, the Bacteroidales, modulate the composition of the microbiota. The Bacteroidales utilize a contact-dependent toxin-delivery system known as the type VI secretion system (T6SS) to kill neighboring cells. We study the impact of this pathway on the microbiota and how bacteria adapt to defend against T6SS-mediated antagonism, using a combination of bacterial genetics, biochemistry, metagenomics, and germ-free mouse models. We are also interested in understanding why Bacteroidales abundance is depleted in individuals with cystic fibrosis, with the goal of improving health through restoration of these bacteria.

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Yolanda Sanchez, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Associate Director for Basic Sciences, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Office:  Vail 501

Phone:  603-650-1669

Checkpoint signaling events triggered during the response to DNA damage or replication interference, how they regulate cell cycle progression, DNA repair and cell death.  The role of checkpoints in the etiology of cancer and as drug targets for therapeutic enhancers of genotoxic cancer drugs.

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Rahul Sarpeshkar, Ph.D.


Rahul Sarpeshkar

Thomas E Kurtz Professor, Professor of Engineering, Microbiology and Immunology, Physics, Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 507A Vail

Phone: 603-646-6821

Synthetic analog and digital biological circuits in electri-cigenic and other microbes; Applications of synthetic and systems biology to immunology, infectious disease, and cancer; Precision measurement, electronic circuit modeling, and feedback control of living cells at the fundamental limits set by physics.

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G. Eric Schaller, Ph.D.


G. Eric Schaller

Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 339 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-2525

Signal transduction by the plant hormones ethylene and cytokinin, and how these hormones act to control growth and development.


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Christopher J. Shoemaker, Ph.D.



Christopher Shoemaker
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 302B Vail

Phone: 603-646-5209

We are interested in the molecular mechanisms governing mammalian autophagy. We take a multidisciplinary approach involving CRISPR-based genetic screening, flow cytometry, quantitative microscopy and biochemical analysis.

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Roger D. Sloboda, Ph.D.


Rodger Sloboda

Ira Allen Eastman Professor Biological Sciences, Active Emeritus

Office: 222 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-2377

We study microtubule dependent particle motility inside cells using intraflagellar transport (IFT) in the biflagellate green alga, Chlamydomonas and the primary cilia of MDCK cells in culture as the model systems.

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Elizabeth F. Smith, Ph.D.


E. Smith
Paul M. Danten Jr Professor

Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: 226 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-1129

The proper assembly and regulated function of eukaryotic cilia is critical for development and sustained human health. We use a variety of biochemical, molecular, and genetic techniques to elucidate the signal transduction pathways that regulate motor proteins responsible for ciliary beating.

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Bruce Stanton, Ph.D.


Bruce Stanton

Andrew C. Vail Memorial Professor

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and of Physiology

Office: 615 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5395

Our laboratory studies the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis. In particular we study host pathogen interactions between bacteria and human airway epithelial cells and the interactome of CFTR and how interacting proteins regulate CFTR trafficking. We also examine how environmental toxins, in particular arsenic, cause and contribute to respiratory and diseases and inflammation.

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Surachai Supattapone, M.D., Ph.D., D.Phil.


Surachai Supattapone
Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and Medicine

Office: 311 Vail

Phone: 603-646-5212

Our lab investigates the molecular mechanisms responsible for the propagation of protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases, with special focus on infectious mammalian prions.  We also use whole genome CRISPR libraries to study various areas of cell biology in mammalian cells.


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Edward J. Usherwood, Ph.D.


Edward Usherwood

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Office: 608E Borwell

Phone: 603-646-5224

Research in the Usherwood lab focuses on T cell-mediated immune surveillance to virus infections and cancer. We are interested in factors that regulate T cell memory and immune surveillance. A major goal is to exploit these findings to develop novel immunotherapies for cancer and persistent virus infections.

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Xiaofeng Wang, Ph.D.


Xiaofeng Wang

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 632 Rubin

Phone:  603-653-9974

Our work focuses on cancer epigenetics. We are particularly interested in studying a family of chromatin remodeling complexes, which are frequently mutated in a variety of human cancers. Our work is aimed to understand how these mutations cause cancer, focusing on the regulation of chromatin structure dynamics (epigenomics) and chromatin remodeler protein complex assembly, as well as using genetic and chemical screens to identify potential therapeutic targets in human cancers. 

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William T. Wickner, M.D.


William Wickner

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 425 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5214

We study how membrane vesicles fuse as they deliver new proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters to their destinations.

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Hermes Yeh, Ph.D.


Hermes Yeh

William W. Brown 1835 Memorial Professor

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology, and Neurobiology

Office: 625 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5264

My lab is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter and neuroreceptor interactions in the adult and developing brain. Ongoing research combines neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, molecular and behavioral approaches in a mouse model of FASD to study the consequences of prenatal ethanol exposure on embryonic corticogenesis, neurotransmitter receptors, synaptic transmission, and behavior. Our work has unifying implications insofar as the insights gained may be applicable toward understanding the pathoetiology of other neurodevelopmental brain disorders, such as autism and ADHD.

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