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Barber Appointed CTB Chair

December 12, 2013

Dr. Diane BarberUCSF Dentistry Dean John D. B. Featherstone takes great pleasure in announcing that Dr. Diane Barber has accepted a five-year appointment as Chair of the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology at the UCSF School of Dentistry, retroactive to December 1, 2013.

Dean Featherstone remarks that "Dr. Barber has done an excellent job as Interim Chair, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as Chair of the Department, and as an important member of the UCSF School of Dentistry leadership team.  She is a wonderful role model for our junior faculty.  We are fortunate that she was selected and has agreed to lead the department into the future.  Please join with me in congratulating Dr. Barber."

Diane Barber received her BS degree in Biological Sciences and MS degree in Physiology from the University of California, Davis, and her PhD in Anatomy from the University of California, Los Angeles. After completing an NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, she was an Assistant Professor in the section of Anatomy in the Department of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. Wanting to return home to her native California, she joined the UCSF faculty in 1992.

She is currently a Professor in the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology at the UCSF School of Dentistry, and since February 2010 has served as Interim Chair of the department.

Dr. Barber’s research addresses how chemical cues such as growth factors and mechanical cues such as wounding and tensional forces regulate cell behaviors, with a focus on how behavioral responses are different in cancers compared with normal cells. One area of her research program is asking how dynamic changes in intracellular pH induced by extracellular cues regulate behaviors that are aberrant in cancer cells, including migration, proliferation and glycolytic metabolism. These studies span cells to molecules and include determining at the molecular level how protonation functions as a posttranslational modification to regulate protein structure and function. Another area of her research asks how cues generate different actin cytoskeleton architectures to drive diverse cell behaviors, again probing molecular mechanisms through studies on protein structure and function.

Dr. Barber’s teaching responsibilities include lecturing in anatomy to professional students, lecturing and co-directing in a cell biology course to graduate students, and training the research and professional advancement of students and postdoctoral fellows. Her service efforts include internal committee work in multiple schools, and UCSF-wide and external participation in several scientific societies, including the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), for which she has chaired symposia and currently serves on the Women in Cell Biology committee.

Dr. Barber was recently profiled in the 2013 UCSF School of Dentistry Magazine, and was the recipient of the Faculty Research Lecturer Award at UCSF Dentistry's Research and Clinical Excellence Day 2013.


Diane Barber