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The Cellular Dynamics Program (CDP) at the MBL aims to accelerate the knowledge of basic biology and disease through the development and utilization of tools customized to shed light on life’s most essential processes. The research is organized around the areas of technique/instrument development and applications to biological problems and focuses on cytoskeletal arrangements and chemical activities.

CDP was established in 2008 and is composed of several independent laboratories, notably those with a specialization in imaging (Rudolf Oldenbourg, Michael Shribak, and Tomomi Tani) and cell physiology and biochemistry (Richard Chappell, Emma Heart, Shanta Messerli, and Maki Tani). Additionally the program houses the BioCurrents Shared Resource, the Central Microscopy Facility, and the laboratories of several Adjunct Scientists (Joseph DeGiorgis, Maria Gomez, and Enrico Nasi). Distinguished Scientists in our Program include Shinya Inoué and Osamu Shimomura; MBL President and Director Gary Borisy holds a joint appointment with CDP and the Bay Paul Center.

The CDP imaging component focuses on the architectural dynamics of living cells, which encompass the timely and coordinated assembly and disassembly of macromolecular structures essential for the proper functioning and differentiation of cells, the spatial and temporal organization of these structures, and their physiological and genetic control. The physiologically focused research, in addition to pursuing studies of biomedical relevance, cell metabolism, and transport biophysics, has pioneered the use of electrochemical sensors to define the chemical signatures surrounding living cells and tissue, opening insights to cell function from a distance.

The CDP goals are to deepen existing research into critical cellular processes, such as cell motility, protein-protein interactions, molecular trafficking, molecular transport, and metabolism, as well as signaling within and between cells. The Program provides crucial new windows on cells and cell division, while advancing key discoveries at the cellular level by supporting the development of groundbreaking new instrumentation and techniques for studying and manipulating living cells. As a program goal, we aim to organize a group of like-minded collaborative and teaching scientists, sharing an interest in the molecular process, cellular plasticity, and biophysics. The Program aims to provide a resident focus to the overall MBL activities in cell biology research and education.