Download Curriculum Vitae

Since July 2015, Gaudenz Danuser has been appointed as the inaugural chair of the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics. He also holds the Patrick E. Haggerty Distinguished Chair in Basic Biomedical Science and is a Scholar of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Before moving to UTSW, Danuser directed research laboratories at ETH Zurich (2002 – 2003), at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (2003 – 2009), and at Harvard Medical School (2009 – 2014).

Trained as an engineer (geodetic and electrical engineering/computer science), he entered the field of cell biology as a postdoctoral fellow in the Program for Architectural Dynamics of Living Cells at the MBL in Woods Hole. Since then, he has focused his research on the question of how chemical and mechanical signals integrate in the regulation of cytoskeleton dynamics and membrane trafficking.

With his CPRIT recruitment he has redirected his efforts towards understanding the implications of mechanical and chemical cell shape regulation in migration and survival of the metastatic cell, including the roles mechanical cues play in conferring what his lab calls ‘mechanical drug resistance’.

To address these questions his lab develops innovative quantitative imaging methods to experimentally probe these processes and uses mathematical modeling to compile the data in mechanistic systems analyses. He is a devoted teacher in areas of computational cell biology, cellular biophysics, and the theory of measurement applied to cell biology. He is co-chair of the computational and systems biology track in UTSW's graduate school.

His contributions to cell biology and biophysics have been recognized by several awards and honors. Recent nominations include Recruitment Awards from the UT STARS and CPRIT programs (2012), the Charles Edward Holt Memorial Lectureship at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2011), a Transformative R01 Research Award from the NIH Director’s Office (2009 - 2014), and the Michael and Kate Barany Award for Young Investigators by The Biophysical Society (2009).

Research Interest

  • Computer vision and machine learning of cancer cell dynamics
  • Integrated mathematical modeling of signal transduction and morphogenesis in cancer cells
  • Live cell imaging of biomimetic models of cancer metastasis
  • Roles and regulation of cell morphogenesis in metastatic migration, survival, and drug response


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Vimentin fibers orient traction stress.
Costigliola N, Ding L, Burckhardt CJ, Han SJ, Gutierrez E, Mota A, Groisman A, Mitchison TJ, Danuser G Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017 May 114 20 5195-5200
Decoupling global biases and local interactions between cell biological variables.
Zaritsky A, Obolski U, Gan Z, Reis CR, Kadlecova Z, Du Y, Schmid SL, Danuser G Elife 2017 Mar 6
Quantitative Multiscale Cell Imaging in Controlled 3D Microenvironments.
Welf ES, Driscoll MK, Dean KM, Schäfer C, Chu J, Davidson MW, Lin MZ, Danuser G, Fiolka R Dev. Cell 2016 Feb 36 4 462-75
Traction microscopy to identify force modulation in subresolution adhesions.
Han SJ, Oak Y, Groisman A, Danuser G Nat. Methods 2015 Jul 12 7 653-6
In vivo cell-cycle profiling in xenograft tumors by quantitative intravital microscopy.
Chittajallu DR, Florian S, Kohler RH, Iwamoto Y, Orth JD, Weissleder R, Danuser G, Mitchison TJ Nat. Methods 2015 Apr
ERK reinforces actin polymerization to power persistent edge protrusion during motility.
Mendoza MC, Vilela M, Juarez JE, Blenis J, Danuser G Sci Signal 2015 8 377 ra47