Mara Duncan

Mara Duncan, Ph.D

Associate Professor and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Cell & Developmental Biology
Accepting new students?
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Allyship Training, Bystander Training
Research Interests:
Membrane traffic, Cell polarity, Protein interactions, Yeast, Organoids

I am the director for Diversity Equity and Inclusion for my home department, a member of the inclusive admissions working group, and a Rackham faculty Ally for Diversity. In these roles and in my own lab, I focus on equity and inclusion because I feel that supporting our current trainees is the best way serve the needs of UM and society.

All cells have some form of intrinsic organization that is required for their proper function. We study the physical interactions that lead to this organization. We are mainly focused on membrane traffic, but our research touches on motors, cytoskeleton, signaling, adhesion, and metabolism. Our approaches include biochemistry, live cell and super resolution imaging, molecular genetics, and CRISPR based genome modification. We use two model systems. We use yeast to uncover fundamental organizing principles of cells, and we use organoids to reveal how these cellular behaviors contribute to morphogenesis and the behaviors of tissues.