About the Department


Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Cell Biology in the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City!

Our primary missions are education, research and service. Our PhD students and post-doctoral fellows train in more than 25 different laboratories engaged in cutting-edge biomedical research across OUHSC and OMRF campuses. Students in the Cell Biology training program are involved in research projects that span a broad range of topics. This is a time of tremendous change and opportunity in research. Training in Cell Biology involves the use of new tools to uncover the molecular causes of human disease, reveal new drug targets, and foster the development of innovative new therapies. With a PhD degree in Cell Biology our students will be well equipped to solve some the most vexing and complex health problems of the day. The quickening pace of research, together with the growing emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to research, dictate that tomorrow's scientists be not only dedicated experimentalists. They will have to be flexible and versatile and capable of integrating information across a wide spectrum of fields. For example, efforts to elucidate the inner workings of the cell require the ability to integrate data on protein biogenesis, degradation, localization, post-translational modification, and activity.  Experimental approaches include genomics, proteomics and structural technologies. Moreover, these efforts require an understanding of how various signal transduction cascades are integrated and regulated within the cell. The elucidation and integration of these signaling networks requires skills in bioinformatics and computation analysis.

Successful Scientists must be effective communicators. We must be able to accurately and effectively present written and oral reports, and to skillfully use the written word to secure funding. Moreover, in today's complex society, the Scientist must be able to clearly communicate with the lay public who support much of our labor. The Department provides multiple venues to hone these skills in addition to classes. Students are provided with numerous opportunities to interact with faculty in seminar programs, journal clubs and the Graduate Student Retreat. The faculty of the Department of Cell Biology is committed to providing the highest quality training for our PhD candidates. Students in Cell Biology can choose between several excellent and flexible tracks to prepare themselves for their future careers. 


The Department of Cell Biology is part of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. The College of Medicine is one of seven colleges that make up the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), one of the largest comprehensive health sciences centers in the United States. Located in Oklahoma City, the OUHSC offers a wide range of clinical and research opportunities.

 The Department of Cell Biology is located on the 5th and 7th floors of the Biomedical Sciences Building (BMSB). Laboratories are also located in the Biomedical Research Center and the Basic Sciences Education Building. Our total lab and office space is 17,835 square feet. We are less than one block from the Colleges of Pharmacy and Dentistry, the Basic Science Education Building (BSEB, home to Oklahoma's medical students), the Robert M. Bird Library, and three teaching hospitals. Our main office is on the 5th floor of the BMSB room 553.

Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Cell Biology is to teach professional and graduate students, to perform scientific research, and to provide service, as an integral part of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.


Cell Biology faculty members are engaged in fundamental biomedical research in many areas and use a variety of experimental approaches. Strong collaborative relationships exist within our department and with faculty in other departments. Core histology, photography, and microscopy facilities provide essential services to our faculty and students. Research is supported by grants from NIH, NSF, American Heart Association, The Foundation Fighting Blindness, Research to Prevent Blindness, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, the Presbyterian Health Foundation, and other sources.


Cell Biology faculty teach histology, pharmacology, gross anatomy, and embryology to medical, dental, and allied health students, and neuroscience to medical students. We also teach in graduate courses offered through our department and the Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience (OCNS), and participate in the integrated graduate curriculum designed for all first year graduate students.

Our Service

Faculty members serve on program and other committees of state, national, and international associations; on scientific advisory boards for non-profit organizations; as officers for the Oklahoma Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience; and on the Oklahoma State Anatomical Board. Most are active in their local community as organizers and judges of symposia and science fairs, and as speakers at lay organizations. In addition to our own students, we serve as mentors to students participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program, the Honors Research Program, and the OCNS summer fellowship program. Finally, many of the faculty in the Department of Cell Biology serve as mentors for senior high school students from the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.