Carole Parent, Ph.D.

Raymond and Lynne Ruddon Collegiate Professor of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medicine

Joint Appointment in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology,

University of Michigan Medicine

Affiliate Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan

Carole obtained B.Pharm. and M.Sc. degrees from the Université of Montreal in 1985 and 1987, respectively. She received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1992. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Peter N. Devreotes in the Department of Biological Chemistry of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for postdoctoral training, where she studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate chemotaxis and directed cell migration. Using Dictyostelium discoideum, as a powerful system to study chemotaxis, and the properties of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) for live cell imaging, she showed that a subset of pleckstrin homology (PH) domain-containing proteins that bind to PI3K products (PI(3,4,5)P3) are specifically recruited to the leading edge of cells exposed to chemoattractant gradients. This discovery provided a specific molecular mechanism to explain how cells transduce external shallow gradients into persistent polarized chemotactic responses.


Carole joined the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the NCI in 2000, received tenure in 2006, was appointed Deputy Chief in 2010, and Deputy Director of the Center for Cancer Research at the NCI in 2016. After 17 years at the NCI, Carole moved to the University of Michigan to join the Department of Pharmacology in 2017 as the inaugural Raymond and Lynne Ruddon Collegiate Professor in Cancer Biology and Pharmacology. Her laboratory is housed in the Life Sciences Institute of the University of Michigan, where she is an Affiliate Research Professor. Her research program aims to understand how cells detect and respond to external chemotactic signals and, in particular, how the spatial and temporal relay of chemotactic signals between cells impact single and group cell migration.


Brief list of Carole Parent’s Honors and Awards

  • MRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 1993-1996

  • Mini Symposium Chair, Cell Motility and Migration, ASCB Annual Meeting, 2005

  • Associate Editor, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2006-present

  • Editorial Board Member, Science Signaling, 2008-16

  • Mini Symposium Chair, Cell Motility and Migration, ASCB Annual Meeting, 2010

  • Editorial Board Member, Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 2011-present

  • NIH Merit Award, 2006 & 2012

  • Arthur S. Flemming Award, 2013

  • Chair, Directed Cell Migration Gordon Conference, 2015

  • Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, 2015

  • Federal Technology Transfer Award, 2015 & 2016

  • Editorial Board Member, PLoS Biology, 2016-present

  • NCI Director’s Award, 2016

  • Elected Fellow, American Associate for the Advancement of Science, 2018