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Catherine S Key

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Contact Information

Associate Professor
(919) 530-5365
(919) 530-7773
2246 Mary M. Townes Science Building


Co-Chair Department of Biology Faculty Peer Evaluation Committee
Chair College of Arts and Sciences Strategic Planning Committee
UNC-CH S.P.I.R.E Post-doctoral coordinator and mentor at NCCU
Duke P.F.F. Mentor at NCCU
Undergraduate and Graduate Adviser
Research Mentor


Dr. Cathy Silver Key hails from the Mid-west: born and raised in St. Louis, MO. She received the Muriel E. Babcock Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Biological Sciences upon graduating magna cum laude with her B.S. in 1988 from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. She worked for 1 year as a research technician at Washington University in St. Louis on the Human Genome Project before moving to North Carolina to pursue her Ph.D. in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Upon completing her Ph.D. in 1997, she joined the Biochemistry Department at Duke University for a short post-doc. When twins came into her life she transferred to Elon University to teach as an adjunct for 2.5 years. In 2001, she returned to UNC-CH as a Post-doctoral fellow in the Seeding Post-doctoral Innovators in Research and Education (S.P.I.R.E.) program which gave her the opportunity to begin research on the Developmental Genetics of Drosophila melanogaster and teach at a variety of institutions including NCA&T State University. In 2005, she joined the faculty at NCCU where she continues her research on a gene important for DNA replication (former NIH/NIGMS funded research), and two collaborations which focus on nanoparticles (Dr. Bang EEGS) and genomics (Dr. Elgin Wash U)- she has published in all 3 areas of research. She also is involved in developing education tools to be implemented in her Genetics, Cell and Development courses. She is currently collaborating with NCCU colleagues to infuse research into the BIOL2200 Molecular Cell Biology laboratory and has co-developed a 7-week module with members of the Genomics Education Partnership(GEP)to teach freshman through junior level students gene structure and processes of gene expression using bioinformatic Drosophila sites at Washington University.

Research Interests

-Drosophila genomics
-role of Cdt2 in gonadal development
-impact of environmental chemicals on cell and animal development
-Science Education Research


PhD University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 1997
BS University of Missouri St. Louis 1988
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