The Cell Biology Program at SKI is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control normal cell behavior and how these are disrupted in cancer. Our mission is to identify, through the advancement of knowledge in cell biology, alterations that promote cancer progression and new opportunities for treating the disease. We carry out much of our work through multidisciplinary collaborations with research groups across SKI and the wider MSK research community. Several of our investigators share an interest in chromatin biology and participate in the Center for Epigenetics Research at MSK.

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Our research activities span the following areas:

  • signal transduction pathways
  • cell division
  • cell differentiation
  • epigenetics
  • cell death
  • metabolism
  • cell and tissue morphogenesis
  • cell migration
  • animal models
  • drug discovery
Inside the lab of cell biologist Kristian Helin

Cell Biology Program Adjunct Kristian Helin (right) with postdoctoral fellow Laurie Herviou


Our Faculty

  • Lydia Finley, PhD
    Lydia Finley studies the mechanisms that link metabolic pathways to cell fate decisions.
  • Xuejun Jiang, PhD

    Interim Chair, Cell Biology Program
    Cell biologist Xuejun Jiang studies programmed cell death, molecular mechanisms, and their roles in tumorigenesis.

  • Philipp Niethammer, PhD
    Cell biologist Philipp Niethammer investigates tissue damage responses with advanced imaging approaches in zebrafish.
  • Alban Ordureau, PhD
    Alban Ordureau explores molecular signaling pathways that regulate cellular homeostasis, with a focus on the ubiquitin and autophagy systems.
  • Michael Overholtzer, PhD
    Cell biologist Michael Overholtzer studies the mechanisms of tumor initiation and progression, cell adhesion, and cell death.
  • Marilyn Resh, PhD
    Cell biologist Marilyn Resh investigates the regulation of protein function by fatty acylation, and the development of Hedgehog palmitoylation inhibitors to block pancreatic and lung cancer.
  • Meng-Fu Bryan Tsou, PhD
    Cell biologist Meng-Fu Bryan Tsou studies cell cycle control of centrosome duplication and degeneration, as well as cilia assembly and disassembly.

Adjunct Faculty

  • Kristian Helin, PhD
    Cancer biologist Kristian Helin studies how genetic and epigenetic mechanisms affect transcription and cell-fate decisions, and how their deregulation contributes to cancer.


Collaborations & Resources

SKI offers a wide array of core facilities and other technologies, as well as significant opportunity for collaboration. Scientists in the Cell Biology Program derive particular benefit from close ties to the following:

Fall 2021 Faculty Recruitment Search

The deadline for the Fall 2021 SKI Faculty Recruitment search has now passed and applications are no longer being accepted. Please check back in the summer for details on next year’s search.

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