Kenneth Kemphues
Professor of Developmental Biology

Kenneth Kemphues




Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics
435 Biotechnology Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703


Web Sites

Lab Web Site
Department Profile


Kenneth Kemphues is a Professor of Genetics in the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics. He received an A.S. in 1974 at Northern Virginia Community College, a B.S. in Biology at the University of Virginia in 1976, and a Ph.D. in Genetics at Indiana University in 1981. He was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Colorado from 1981-1984 and joined the Cornell faculty in 1984. Dr. Kemphues is a member of the Genetics Society of America, the Society for Developmental Biology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research program is supported by the National Institutes of Health. He was a recipient of a DuPont Young Faculty Award in 1984 and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 2006 Award for Basic Research. He serves as Associate Editor of Genetics, and is on the editorial boards of Molecular Biology of the Cell and Development.

Research Description

Cell polarity plays an important role in nearly every aspect of biology, from polarized cell growth and asymmetric division in microbes to the organization of the human brain. Loss of cell polarity correlates with formation of cancerous cells. The goal of our lab is to understand how cell polarity arises in embryos of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. PAR proteins, discovered in C. elegans, play a central role in polarization of many cell types in a wide variety of animals. Studies of these proteins by our lab and others have provided insight into polarity establishment in nematodes, flies, and mammals.

Selected Publications

Click here for Dr. Kemphues' PubMed listings.