About Us

Graduate Students

Xuexia Jiang
Xuexia Jiang, Graduate Student

Xuexia Jiang works on building mathematical models to discover patterns in dynamic processes, specifically parcellating subcellular signaling domains of actin regulators in order to better understand the relationships between signaling molecules in cells. This will ideally culminate in the ability to fully utilize molecular activity biosensors which report on cellular signaling activity and relate patterns of signaling activity to cellular function. In his spare time, Xuexia likes to slowly transfer husky fur from home to lab as a way of "spreading the love" and bothering Ashwathi "Abbee" Mohan (see above). Xuexia is not good enough at computers for social media.

 

Abby Mohan
Ashwathi "Abbee" Mohan, Graduate Student

Ashwathi (Abbee) Mohan was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in 2012 from Texas A&M University where she majored in Molecular and Cell Biology and minored in Classical Studies. As a Goldwater Scholar at Texas A&M, Abbee's research was to study how evolutionarily-coupled amino acids in zinc finger domains could be modified to customize DNA-protein binding. Abbee is currently an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in UTSW's Medical Scientist Training Program, and in 2017 she was awarded an M.D./Ph.D. Fellowship (F30) from the National Institutes of Health. Abbee joined the Danuser Lab in 2014 to complete her Ph.D. work studying the connection between focal adhesion signaling in melanoma and hyperactive Rac1-mediated drug resistance. Outside the lab, Abbee frequents artisanal coffee shop chains, specialty grocery stores, and petfinder.com.

 

Andres Nevarez
Andres Nevarez, Graduate Student

Andres Jose Nevarez was born and raised in Fresno, CA. Andres attended CSU Fresno, where he earned his B.S. in Biology. His undergraduate work focused on breast cancer SNP discovery of pesticide exposed migrant farm workers. He also interned at Sanford-Burnham and UC Berkeley, where he explored the processed proteome by Cas-9 to find targets for apoptotic therapy in the former, and in the latter he investigated mitochondrial gene loss following whole genome duplication in X. laevis. In the Danuser lab, Andres focuses on using computer vision to analyze live cell images to elucidate a morphological fingerprint of metastatic melanoma for early detection of metastasis. In 2015 Andres received a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, and in 2016 he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study. In his spare time, Andres enjoys spending time with his two dogs, reading about the latest technology, and pretending to be an amateur guitarist. Publication ProfileLinkedIn  

 

Jin Suk Park
Jin Suk Park, Graduate Student

Jin Suk Park is from South Korea. Within his research he integrates cell mechanics with cellular metabolism to investigate mechano-biochemical dysregulation in cancer biology. In his free time, Jin enjoys playing the clarinet and tennis.

 

Byron Weiss
Byron Weiss, Graduate Student

Byron is originally from Englewood, New Jersey. After receiving a scholarship to study international cultures and politics as part of a travel-based academic program, he returned to the New York area to pursue a BSE in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. As an undergraduate, Byron was involved in a variety of research areas including brown adipose tissue engineering, high-throughput microfluidics that integrated membrane permeability assays into biochemical drug screens, and the development of zero-mode waveguide nanoaperture arrays for the observation of single-molecule dynamics in weakly interacting systems. After completing his first two years of clinical training as an MD-PhD student, Byron joined the Danuser lab in 2017 to investigate the underlying cellular signaling and migratory functions of vimentin, a cytoskeletal intermediate filament protein that is considered a poor prognostic marker in several epithelial cancers. In his spare time, Byron enjoys backpacking, catching live music, and binge-watching whatever show has currently grabbed his attention. LinkedIn Profile

 

Ning Zhang
Ning Zhang, Graduate Student

Ning Zhang's hometown is Zhengzhou, in the middle of China. He studied at Hangzhou, a beautiful city in Eastern China near Shanghai. Ning graduated from Zhejiang University in China with a B.Sc. in Biotechnology. He joined the lab in 2014 as a graduate student in the Cancer Biology program with emphasis in the Computational and Systems Biology track. His research interest is to develop imaging analysis tools for high-throughput 3D spots quantification, which is combined with the fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to analyze genes that can be regulated by telomeres with different lengths. In his free time, Ning likes to travel and explore different countries, having participated in several exchange programs across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He attributes these experiences to giving him a broad view of the world. Publication Profile