College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Animal & Avian Sciences

Genetics & Cell Biology

Faculty in our Genetics and Cell Biology Group investigate the genetic basis for animal growth, disease resistance, and nutrient efficiency, and the mechanisms underlying nutrient uptake, cellular differentiation, and lipid secretion. 

General Goals

  • Define the genetic basis for animal growth, disease resistance, embryonic development, stem cell specification and nutrient efficiency.
  • Elucidate the cellular mechanisms underlying nutrient uptake, cellular differentiation, host-pathogen response, and lipid secretion.
  • Integrate quantitative, statistical, and computational parameters at the molecular, cellular, genome, and metagenome levels.

Focus

The primary thrust of the Genetics and Cell Biology Group is to illuminate the molecular and cellular basis of complex biological systems using a multi-organismal and multi-faceted approach. The group comprises faculty that span across multiple disciplines with research focuses in basic and translational research and with implications for animal health and diseases and the environment. Key problems being addressed by this group include the following:

  • Nutrient-gene interactions that influence nutrient partitioning
  • Cell biology and genetics of nutrient homeostasis
  • Molecular basis for the maintenance of pluripotency and cell lineage determination
  • Molecular dynamics of lipid secretion
  • Genetics and endocrine regulation of growth and metabolism
  • Statistical genomics, bioinformatics and gene regulatory networks
  • Developmental biology, embryonic patterning, and cell migration
  • Molecular mechanisms of protective memory in mucosal infections
  • Interactions between nutrition and the immune system
  • Selection theory and quantitative genetics 

Research Impact

  • Animal health and development
  • Chesapeake Bay Preservation
  • Zoonotic diseases and Prevention
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