About Us

Postdoctoral Fellows

Maria Bagonis
Maria Bagonis, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Maria Bagonis is originally from Owego, New York. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry/M.S. in Chemistry from State University of New York at Binghamton and an M.Sc. in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry from University of Oxford. She is currently completing her Ph.D. through the Biological and Biomedical Science Program at Harvard University. Maria aims to quantitatively understand complex signaling dynamics in neuronal systems at multiple spatial/temporal scales. Currently she works in close collaboration with the Pertz lab of University of Bern to decipher how spatial/temporal RhoGTPase signaling patterns may be modulated by specific GEFs/GAPs to control growth cone morphology and function. As imaging of fluorescent biosensors is a key means by which signal dynamics can be monitored, she has developed computer vision software tools that will provide researchers with a more efficient means of extracting fluorescent signal in relationship to biologically relevant morphological/dynamic landmarks, from growth cones exhibiting select behaviors. Outside the lab, Maria maintains an interest in public policy, and enjoys running, yoga, and poetry. Publication Profile


Kevin Dean
Kevin Dean, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Kevin Dean was born and raised in Weed, CA.  He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Willamette University in 2006, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado in 2013. His graduate work focused on improving the total photon output of red fluorescent proteins using a combination of multiparametric microfluidic cell sorters, spectroscopy, and directed evolution. Today, Kevin holds a joint appointment with the Danuser and Fiolka labs where he is developing and implementing light-sheet microscopy and computer vision techniques in an effort to elucidate the mechanisms of cytoskeletal and GTPase dynamics in 3D tissue-like microenvironments. In 2016, he received a Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. Outside of the lab, Kevin enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and photography. Publication ProfileLinkedIn


Meghan Driscoll
Meghan Driscoll, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Meghan Driscoll was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She received a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd College in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland in 2013. In graduate school, she researched the shape and actin dynamics of cells in suspension and cells migrating on gratings and ratcheted surfaces. Currently, Meghan holds a joint appointment with the Danuser and Fiolka labs. In the Danuser lab she studies cell migration within three-dimensional matrices by developing image analysis techniques for high-resolution light-sheet microscopy. She is supported by a K99 Pathway to Independence Award (NIGMS) from the National Institutes of Health and was previously supported by an F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIGMS). In her free time, she enjoys eating chocolate. Publication ProfileLinkedIn


Jaewon Huh
Jaewon Huh, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Jaewon Huh received his Ph.D. in Statistics at Seol National University in February 2017. His research interests centered around change-point analysis and its applications to real world problems with his thesis entitled "Monitoring methods for time series and panel data models with application to statistical process control." Huh joined the Danuser lab in April 2017 and will be working to expand change-point techniques for application to the fine image data produced in the Danuser group. When Jaewon isn't working with statistical data, he enjoys Playstation Pes and NBA. He is also a fan of the London-based Chelsea professional footbol club and world travel. Publication ProfileLinkedIn


Tadamoto Isogai
Tadamoto Isogai, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

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 ProfileLinkedIn


Xiao Ma
Xiao Ma, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Xiao Ma was born in Beijing, China. He received his M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2007, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 2013. His previous research focused on investigating biomolecular binding through dynamic force spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulation, and associated nanoscale biosensor and biointerface design using photolithography and nanopatterning. In the Danuser lab, he endeavors to adopt and develop adaptive spectral analysis to elucidate cellular morphodynamics during migration, utilize unsupervised clustering algorithm to profile the cellular edge motion into featured subcellular morphogenetic regions, and correlate the morphodynamic behavior with the spatiotemporal regulation of GEF and GTPase signaling. In his free time, Xiao enjoys playing soccer and reading history.


Vasanth S. Murali, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Murali was born and raised in India. He received his BE in Biotechnology from Visvesvaraya Technological University in 2008. He then moved to University of Texas at Dallas where he acquired his MS in 2011 and PhD in 2015 in Molecular and Cell Biology. His graduate work focused on quantitative and sub-cellular location studies on the use of folic acid targeted carbon nanotubes in thermal ablation cancer therapies. In 2016, he joined UT Southwestern Medical Center as a postdoctoral fellow where he holds a joint appointment with the Danuser and Çobano─člu labs. He currently works on developing 3D imaging based functional assays for assessing drug activity. This will allow him to test known associations and novel predictions and investigate drug targets for mechanistic studies and in vivo efficacy. Outside of the lab, Vasanth enjoys travelling and riding his motorcycle. Publication ProfileLinkedIn


Philippe Roudot
Philippe Roudot, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Philippe Roudot was born in Brittany in the West of France.  He received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from INSA de Lyon in 2010 and his Ph.D. in Signal Processing from the University of Rennes in France in 2014. During his Ph.D. program, hosted at Inria (Rennes, France) and Curie Institute (Paris, France), he studied intracellular dynamics and the image formation process in fluorescence microscopy to develop a new technique to measure fluorescence lifetime on dynamic structures by combining frequency-domain imaging with new image processing approaches. In the Danuser lab, he studies the role of the cytoskeleton dynamics in cell morphogenesis in organotypic environment through light-sheet microscopy and the development of new computer vision methods for the comprehension of the three-dimensional dynamic of macromolecular structures. He is a Human Frontier Cross-Disciplinary Fellow since 2014 and a Lindau Nobel Meeting alumni since 2016. Outside science, Philippe enjoys freediving and discovering new music. Publication Profile


Dagan Segal
Dagan Segal, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

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. 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


XinXin Wang
XinXin Wang, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Xinxin Wang received his Ph.D. in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis (thesis advisor: Dr. Anders Carlsson). He joined the Danuser lab at UT Southwestern in 2016. His research interests are focused on quantitative modeling of clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). In his free time, Xinxin likes to play basketball, ultimate frisbee, beach volleyball and Warcraft III. Publication ProfileLinkedIn


Andrew Weems
Andrew Weems, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

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 McMurrray. 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


Assaf Zaritsky, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher

Assaf Zaritsky's career path began in computer science, both in academia (Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, 2014) and industry, and gradually morphed into a focus on computational cell dynamics. Motivated by fundamental questions in cell and cancer biology, he now develops and applies specialized analytic tools to study cell motility and dynamics from the intracellular to the multicellular scales. He joined the Danuser lab in September 2013 and is currently a visiting scholar ('Senior Intern') in Benny Geiger's lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Assaf is from Israel, and spends his spare time raising 3 kids and enjoying hiking, trail-running and basketball. Publication ProfileLinkedIn