My name is Dan Strongin and I am a biologist – a cell and molecular biologist to be precise (though I approach cell biological problems from a biochemistry and biophysics perspective). I love the fact that science is far from a solitary endeavor. I find myself continually surrounded by extremely smart, enthusiastic and creative colleagues. Science is also highly inter-disciplinary and I have had the good fortune of talking to and collaborating with mathematicians, chemists, physicists, and computer scientists.
I hope my enthusiasm comes across as you view this website. If you have any unanswered questions about the science itself or questions about being or becoming a biologist please email me at dan.strongin (at) dynamicdna (dot) org.
I was born and raised in New Jersey. When my preschool friends wanted to be firefighters and ice cream truck drivers I decided I wanted to be an oceanographer. That career aspiration evolved into marine biologist, which led me to Boston University where I majored in marine biology. I conducted research on clownfish morphological development in Les Kaufman’s lab. I also spent one summer working with Anthony Mazeroll researching clownfish mating behavior and another summer and part of my senior year working with Robert Silver at the MBL in Woods Hole researching intracellular calcium signalling. Around that time I also discovered that I was most intrigued by biology at the cell and molecular level.
After graduation I spent a couple of years as a technician in a tissue engineering lab run by Julie Glowacki at Massachusetts General Hospital and then moved to the University of Chicago where in 2007 I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology. I worked in Ben Glick’s lab in Chicago and my thesis research primarily involved using a technique known as directed evolution to engineer improved versions of a red fluorescent protein called DsRed. I had additional projects looking at the basic biochemistry of DsRed protein folding and chromophore biogenesis and an unrelated project involving dynamics of the early secretory pathway using budding yeast as a model system. In Chicago I had the opportunity to mentor several undergraduate and rotation students in the lab and work with a program called Bio Outreach where over the course of a school year I prepared laboratory and teaching exercises for a local high school class.
I then moved to Seattle and the laboratory of Mark Groudine at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where I am currently a postdoctoral fellow. My research involves studying the connection between spatial organization and molecular processes in the cell nucleus, particularly DNA repair. I have mentored several technicians as well as an extremely talented undergraduate student. I designed and taught a full course on genetic engineering as part of a Biology and Society series at the Bothell campus of the University of Washington and I also regularly lecture in a cancer biology course for non-scientific staff.
For a more detailed discussion of my past and current research and teaching activities follow the appropriate links above. A list of my publications along with a brief non-technical summary of each can be found HERE and my full CV can be downloaded HERE.