The Department of Regenerative and Cancer Cell Biology

RCCB at Albany Med
Offering both Graduate and Postdoctoral training programs. 
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Admissions Application


If you are interested in applying to our Graduate Studies program, please use this link:

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We are NOW accepting applications for rolling admission into Fall 2019 classes.  Application deadline is May 6, 2019.  Early application is highly recommended.  Please contact:

The Department of Regenerative and Cancer Cell Biology (RCCB) offers graduate and postdoctoral training programs based on a comprehensive approach to the study of regenerative and cancer cell biology. The Department's faculty is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of scientists with expertise in cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. This diversity is reflected in the combined use of cutting edge cellular, molecular genetic and in vivo technologies, using model organisms, to understand basic problems in tissue regeneration and cancer biology. Thus, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be exposed to a highly interactive training environment that highlights the discovery of molecular mechanisms operative in cell biology. State-of-the-art approaches are utilized to probe the underlying basis of physiologic and pathophysiologic cellular functions. The major research focus in the Department includes, but is not limited to, cancer biology, wound repair, stem cell research and bioengineering, molecular controls on cell proliferation and gene expression and microenvironmental influences operative in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation and migration. The interdisciplinary approaches of individual RCCB faculty research programs combined with the diversity of experimental systems, promotes exceptional research strength in the following areas:


Several RCCB research programs are focused on determining how diverse signals transmitted by growth factors, cytokines and the extracellular matrix are integrated to regulate aspects of tumor biology including the control of cell growth and the regulation of tissue remodeling. The Department faculty and their research teams address these questions using elegant cell and organotypic culture systems as well as engineered mouse models with a focus on renal cell and lung carcinoma, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer, tissue inflammation, organ development and wound repair. Emphasis includes studies on the role of tumor suppressor genes, such as p53, PTEN and newly-emerging novel genes, on the control of cell proliferation and the stromal microenvironment, angiogenesis, DNA repair, metastasis and resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs.


RCCB faculty and students are addressing questions relating to how mammalian cells initiate, integrate and respond to signaling cascades that are activated by growth factors, cytokines, mechanochemical stimuli, tissue injury and the extracellular matrix. Investigators are exploiting both animal models and novel cell culture systems to define the structure-function relationships between receptors for these stimuli and linkages to intracellular signaling proteins. The work in several laboratories focuses on defining genomic targets of these signaling cascades to effect changes in nuclear architecture and gene expression that regulate cell growth, differentiation, adhesion, motility and transcription.


Faculty and students within the RCCB use both in vivo and in vitro approaches to study the complex interplay between cells and the extracellular matrix that relates to tumor invasion, angiogenesis, endothelial barrier function, wound healing, leukocyte activation and inflammation. Investigations in the Department focus on molecular pathways and genes that regulate (1) cell-stromal interactions and migration, (2) organization and function of the cytoskeleton, (3) pericellular proteolysis and remodeling of the extracellular matrix and (4) how the spatial confinement of cells within a 3-dimensional tissue structure impacts cancer cell motility.


Using multidisciplinary molecular biological approaches and state-of-the-art 3-D imaging, faculty and students in the department of RCCB are investigating molecular events required for promoting cellular/tissue homeostasis, cellular senescence, growth arrest and the tissue response to injury. Mechanisms under study include those involved in DNA damage repair and mitochondrial dysfunction as well as basic events underlying epigenetic and transcriptional controls on gene expression and stem cell fate. Clarifying the driving mechanisms will provide insight into tumor suppression, tissue maintenance and regeneration, and the prevention of age-related diseases.


Paula J. McKeown-Longo, Ph. D.
Muntz Professor and Director

Paul J. Higgins, Ph.D.
Professor and Director

Ralf-Peter Czekay, Ph.D.
Graduate Director

Albany Medical College
47 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208-3479
Telephone: (518) 262-5651
Fax:  (518) 262-5669