PI and Research Faculty

Meet the Principle Investigator

Gaudenz Danuser, Ph.D.

Gaudenz Danuser, Ph.D.

Gaudenz Danuser was trained at ETH Zurich in Geodetic Engineering (Diploma), and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Ph.D.). He did his postdoctoral training in Woods Hole at the MBL, where he immersed himself into research in live cell imaging and cellular mechanics. Before being recruited to UTSW as a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research and Patrick E. Haggerty Distinguished Chair in Basic Biomedical Science he held faculty positions at ETH Zurich (Mechanical Engineering), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA (Cell Biology), and Harvard Medical School, Boston (Cell Biology). Since fall 2015 he is the inaugural chair of the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics. In the lab his role is centered on supporting everyone’s science and career ambitions, and maintaining good relationships with funding entities. Gaudenz is from Switzerland and in his free time enjoys hiking with his family.

Publication Profile

Research Faculty

Tadamoto Isogai, Ph.D.

Tadamoto Isogai, Ph.D.

Instructor

Tadamoto Isogai was born and raised in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He received his M.Sc. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Leiden University and his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the Netherlands Cancer Institute under the supervision of Dr. Metello Innocenti. He joined the Danuser lab in 2016 and is interested in molecular signal amplifications within cellular organelles in 3D microenvironments. In his free time, Tada enjoys his family and playing with his children. 

Publication Profile

Benjamin Nanes, M.D.

Benjamin Nanes, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Fellow & Instructor

Benjamin Nanes grew up in Atlanta. He received his BA in chemistry from Washington University in Saint Louis and his MD and PhD degrees from Emory University. His graduate research, under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Kowalczyk in the department of Cell Biology, focused on intracellular trafficking of adhesion proteins in endothelial cells. He then moved to Dallas to complete his internship in internal medicine and residency in dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. On completing his clinical training, Dr. Nanes was accepted into the Physician Scientist Training Program and joined the Danuser lab, where he studies the dynamics of keratin intermediate filaments during wound healing. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and exploring Dallas.  

Publication Profile 

Jungsik Noh, Ph.D.

Jungsik Noh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Jungsik Noh’s research specializes in analysis of live cell time series microscopic images. He is developing and applying stochastic models and statistical methods to infer causal relations between the molecular signals to better understand underlying biological interactions. Originally trained as a statistician, Dr. Noh published a machine-learning based pipeline in 2021 to estimate numbers of COVID-19 infected populations worldwide; focusing on those that are under-ascertained and therefore unknown. Currently, he collaborates with multiple PIs on research projects on image and time series analysis. He is actively recruiting in the area of causal inference. Jungsik is from Korea and when not in the lab he enjoys watching movies.

Publication Profile

Dagan Segal

Dagan Segal, Ph.D.

Instructor

Dagan Segal was born in Rehovot, Israel. She received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from UT Austin in 2008, her M.S. in Biology from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in 2012. Segal completed her Ph.D. in Biology from The Weizmann Institute of Science in 2017, under the supervision of Prof. Benny Shilo, where she studied the regulation of actin dynamics in the developing fruit fly. Currently, Dagan holds a joint appointment with the Danuser and Amatruda labs. Dagan was selected as an EMBO Long-Term Research Fellow in January 2019. Her work combines zebrafish and in vitro models to gain insight into how cells interact with varying microenvironments, especially in pediatric cancer. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and laughing.

Publication Profile

Qiongjing "Jenny" Zou

Qiongjing "Jenny" Zou, Ph.D.

Instructor

Jenny was born and raised in Wuhan, China. She received her Ph.D. at University of Delaware and worked as a Research Fellow in Singapore. Jenny is focused on developing and maintaining scientific software packages to serve the lab’s software and analysis needs. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, trying out new restaurants, and watching movies.

Publication Profile

Andrew Weems

Andrew Weems, Ph.D.

Instructor

Andrew grew up in the (formerly) small town of Katy, outside of Houston, TX. After coming to science by a circuitous path which included forays into ballet, woodworking, and retail management, he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Texas State University. His graduate work was completed at the University of Colorado, where he earned a PhD in Cell Biology under Michael McMurray. While there, he mapped the assembly pathway of septin cytoskeletal complexes in S. cerevisiae, by developing a novel split-GFP tool that identifies the chronological order of protein-protein interactions in vivo using live-cell imaging. In so doing, he exposed an unforeseen structural mechanism by which septin proteins assemble into alternate complexes with distinct biochemical properties depending on cellular metabolic states, allowing cytoskeletal behavior to be directly driven by cell metabolism and nutrient availability. Joining the Danuser lab in the Fall of 2017, he is now interested in cellular morphodynamics, and the ways that cell shape influence the cytoskeletal and signaling programs controlling the behavior of both healthy and cancerous cells. Andrew is supported by a fellowship from the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research. He spends his free time basking in the presence of his wonderful wife and daughter, as well as training, teaching, and competing as an historical longsword fencer.

Publication Profile