Dan Dickinson

Assistant Professor

Dan has been obsessed with cell polarity ever since graduate school, when he worked on epithelial polarity in Dictyostelium with Bill Weis and James Nelson at Stanford. After finishing his Ph.D. at Stanford, he was a postdoc in Bob Goldstein's lab at UNC Chapel Hill where he developed genome editing and single-cell biochemistry tools to study polarity in the C. elegans zygote. 

Ivy Chang

Ph.D. Student

Ivy was an undergraduate at the University of Washington. She's used high-resolution imaging and manipulation of PAR-3 oligomers to understand how cortical flow can transport proteins to polarize cells, and is now working on understanding how PAR complex assembly is regulated. 

Nadia Manzi

Ph.D. Student

Nadia was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona where she worked on cancer cell invasion; she received a prestigious AMGEN scholarship while an undergrad. She's launching a new project exploring how cell cycle machinery influences the molecular organization of the PAR system in both C. elegans and mammalian stem cells.

Nicole Shi

Ph.D. Student

Nicole studied medicine in China before shifting her focus to basic research.  She's working on dissecting mechanisms of  polarity in mammalian cells, using stem cell derived organoid cultures. 

Yash Shukla

Ph.D. Student

Yash was an undergraduate in Hong Kong, where he worked with DNA Origami and aptamers.  He's currently working on developing a project that will use non-model nematodes to investigate how cell signaling machinery can evolve.

Naomi Stolpner

Ph.D. Student

Naomi was an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, where she worked on Drosophila border cell migration in Denise Montell's lab. She's studying how PAR polarity is reprogrammed in post-zygotic stages of C. elegans development.

Jacquelyn Wright

Ph.D. Student (co-advised by David Taylor)

Jacquelyn completed her undergraduate studies at Creighton University where she implemented TIRF microscopy and studied an interaction between two proteins that functions in gene silencing. She is working on a joint project between our lab and Dr. David Taylor's lab, utilizing single-molecule microscopy techniques to characterize CRISPR enzymes both in vitro and in vivo.

Sena Sarıkaya

PostBac Researcher

Sena graduated from UT in 2020, having spent 3 years as an undergraduate researcher studying convergent extension in John Wallingford's lab. She's helped develop an improved single-cell biochemistry approach that can resolve the binding kinetics of transient protein complexes, and is now applying that approach to study some key interactions that occur during zygote polarization.

Ryan Doonan

Assistant Professor of Practice, Research Educator

Ryan got his Ph.D. in a C. elegans lab at University College London and has extensive postdoctoral experience with worms. He is responsible for managing our "Glow Worms" stream within the Freshman Research Initiative, which is generating novel knock-in strains and improving CRISPR methods in C. elegans. 

Lea Jinks

Lab Manager

Lea has an undergraduate degree in biology and worked in a lab studying corals before joining us at UT.  They help keep the lab organized and running smoothly. 

Lars Deutz

Undergraduate Researcher

Lars is a neuroscience major and a member of the prestigious Dean's Scholars program who is working with Sena to develop further develop in vivo single-cell biochemistry methods.  

Nitya Kopparapu

Undergraduate Researcher

Nitya is a biochemistry major and computer science minor.  She's working with Nicole to characterize polarity protein localization in mouse ES cells. 

Zeba Momim

Undergraduate Researcher

Zeba is working towards a pre-health professions certificate while also earning a business degree.  She's working with Dan & Ivy on several projects related to SiMPull methods development. 

Lauren Ohler

Undergraduate Researcher

Lauren has a strong interest in mammalian developmental biology and has previously done research at MD Anderson cancer center.  She's working with Nicole on 3D organoid models of polarity.  

Thomas Su

Undergraduate Researcher

Thomas is a pre-med student with an interest in opthamology and optics in general. He's working with Naomi to study myosin movements in 8-cell embryos. 

All are welcome

We're proud to be a team that includes people of diverse backgrounds. If you love worms, cells, molecules, microscopes or all of the above, You Belong Here.