The Duke DSCB program began admitting students in 2002. In 2007, the first students received their PhD degree. While the program itself is young, the alumni of the DSCB program have been very successful, earning postdoctoral fellowships in prestigious labs or going on to hold fulfilling careers in industry. Below is a selection of some alumni and where they are currently in their respective careers.
Degree Department / Year: University Program in Genetics & Genomics, PhD 2020
Research Mentor: Charles Gersbach, PhD
Research Description: Genome engineering in stem cells for skeletal muscle regeneration
Current Position: I am a scientific co-founder at a start-up biotech company in Durham. I conceive, develop, and execute experiments relating to epigenome editing strategies for therapeutic applications.
Degree Department / Year: Cell Biology, PhD 2020
Research Mentor: Blanche Capel, PhD
Research Description: Initiation and Maintenance of Temperature Dependent Sex Determination in the Red-Eared Slider Turtle
Current Position: I am a post-doc in Kim Cooper's lab at the University of California San Diego. I am studying the genetic and cellular processes underlying the elongation of the axial skeleton and growth of individual vertebral elements within and between species.
Degree Department / Year: Cell Biology, PhD 2017
Research Mentor: Don Fox, PhD
Research Description: I studied how the chromosomes of polyploid cells are altered compared to those of diploid cells. In particular, I showed that cells that undergo multiple S-phases without mitosis can return to mitosis but must undergo an extra step to separate their chromosomes before cell division.
Current Position: I am a post-doc in Dr. Amy Gladfelter's lab at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I study the process of biological liquid-liquid phase separation and how cells use these biological condensates to organize their cytoplasm. My research focuses on how the material properties of these condensates are tuned to environmental conditions, especially temperature.
Name: Myron K Evans II
Degree Department / Year: Pathology, PhD 2016
Research Mentor: Gayathri Devi, PhD
Research Description: Tumor biology and novel therapy development for inflammatory breast cancer
Current Position: I am a principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and an assistant professor at University of Washington School of Medicine. My lab studies the epigenetic regulation of postnatal brain development and pediatric central nervous system tumors.
Degree Department / Year: Cell Biology, PhD 2015
Research Mentor: Terry Lechler, PhD
Research Description: The role of spindle orientation in epidermal development and homeostasis
Current Position: Tenure-track Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine; Research Health Scientist at Atlanta VA Medical Center. Lab website: seldinlab.com
Lisa W. Pfefferle
Degree Program / Year:University Program in Genetics & Genomics, PhD 2012
Research Mentor: Gregory A. Wray, PhD
Research Description: I used transcriptomics, molecular biology, and their combined synergism, to expose important changes in primate white adipose tissue and its specialized cell type the adipocyte. This work provided insight into the physiological, morphological, and disease susceptibility differences that distinguish humans from chimpanzees.
Current Position: Director, Corporate Development and Licensing / Laboratory Corporation of America
Degree Program / Year: Cell Biology, PhD 2011
Research Mentor: Blanche Capel, PhD
Research Description: My work investigated the role of the remodeling vasculature during organ patterning and cell differentiation.
Current Position: Scientific Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in Palo Alto; helping build relationships among scientists while bringing program management experience from my years at Organovo.
Shu-Yu (Simon) Wu
Degree Program / Year: Biology, PhD 2007
Research Mentor: David McClay, PhD
Research Description: Studying gene regulatory networks controlling an epithelial-mesenchymal transition using primary mesenchyme cells in the sea urchin embryo as model.
Current Position: Research Instructor in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center