Developmental Biology

Significant Accomplishments

Long-Time Director Retires

On March 31, 2013, Christopher Wylie, PhD, retired as Director of our Division. His role in expanding the Division from 11 faculty members in 2000, when he first joined Cincinnati Children’s, to 22 primary faculty and 22 secondary appointments is an outstanding accomplishment. Combined, this is now one of the largest groupings of developmental biologists in the world. Wylie understood the value of establishing a major center for model organism developmental biology at world-class children’s hospital, staffed with clinicians diagnosing and treating childhood diseases. Indeed, our Division has established close ties with as a many as 17 clinical divisions at the hospital. These interactions will provide better diagnoses, treatments and ultimately cures for childhood disorders. Thus in his 13 years here, Wylie has built a remarkable developmental biology research enterprise and positioned it well to play a major role in changing the outcome for children locally, nationally and internationally.

Kopan Named New Division Director

Following Dr. Wylie’s retirement, we were able to recruit a world-renowned developmental biologist, Raphael Kopan, PhD, to take over division leadership starting in August 2013. Kopan had been the Wolff Distinguished Professor of Developmental Biology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His research focuses on the role of Notch signaling in development and disease. His strong international reputation in developmental biology will help to maintain the visibility of our division both on a national and international level, which is essential for continued growth and success of the division. Moreover, Kopan’s collaborative instincts will dovetail nicely with the traditions at Cincinnati Children’s as he plans to move the division forward. By all the early accounts, the transition in leadership will be smooth and effective.

Developmental Biology Retreat Hosts 175 Participants

Our two-day retreat, held in Spring 2013, was the largest and most diverse to date. We had 175 participants, including clinicians, basic scientists and students, with 62 posters from 16 different divisions at Cincinnati Children’s. This is roughly on par with regional meetings of the Society of Developmental Biology and reflects the impressive size and depth of the developmental biology community here.