Message from the Chair

Leo Tsiokas, Ph.D.

George Lynn Cross Research Professor, 

John S. Gammill Endowed Chair in Polycystic Kidney Disease, Warren Medical Research Institute

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.