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Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology

The Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology supports studies directed toward gaining a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie inheritance and development. The results of these studies form the foundation for advances in diagnosing, preventing, treating and curing human genetic and developmental disorders. Most of the projects supported by the division make use of model organisms, which speed advances in understanding human biological processes.

The division has two components: the Genetic Mechanisms Branch and the Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch.

Research areas NIGMS supports within this division and contact names are listed on the Contacts by Research Area page.

Genetic Mechanisms Branch

This branch focuses on DNA and on the flow of information from genetic material (DNA or RNA) to protein. The branch supports mechanistic studies of DNA replication and repair; synthesis of DNA, RNA and protein; regulation of DNA replication, transcription of coding and non-coding RNA, RNA processing and protein synthesis; and interactions among these basic cellular processes. The emphasis is on the general principles governing these processes rather than on the expression of specific genes in relation to organismal phenotypes or disease. Consistent with its focus on DNA, the branch also supports studies of population genetics and evolution.

Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch

This branch focuses on the genetic and biochemical pathways that cells utilize in development and in normal physiological processes. The research supported by the branch spans the spectrum from the genetic basis of development and cell function to biochemical signaling pathways that underlie normal cell physiology. The branch supports studies of cell cycle control; mechanisms of cell death; regulation of cell growth, differentiation and homeostasis; adaptive responses to stress; stem cell biology; microbial symbiotic relationships and community ecology; developmental genetics; neurogenetics and the genetics of behavior; chromosome structure and epigenetic regulation of gene expression; and the genetic basis of human biology.

Along with its research and research training activities, the division supports the Human Genetic Cell Repository, which maintains and distributes cell lines and DNA samples--from people with and without genetic disorders--to research scientists.

For more information about the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology, contact:

Dr. Susan Haynes
Acting Director, Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

This page last reviewed on January 2, 2013