Dr. Deirdre Brekken received her Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and her Ph.D. degree from UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her graduate research was focused on the characterization of trypanosoma brucei gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, an essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of trypanothione.  She completed her postdoctoral training at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute in Seattle, Washington where she studied the protein kinase CK2 from T. brucei.  She returned to UT Southwestern in 2002 as a faculty member and Lead Scientist in the Alliance for Cell Signaling to study phosphoproteins and their phosphorylation sites using proteomic techniques.

Dr. Brekken stepped away from the bench and is the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs.  She directs the Postdoctoral Certificate Training Program and oversees the appointments and career development of the nearly 600 postdocs training at UT Southwestern.


Vanderbilt University (1993), Bioengineering
Graduate School
Univ of Tx Southwestern Med Ct (1998), Molecular & Cell Biology

Research Interest

  • Postdoctoral training


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Characterization of protein kinase CK2 from Trypanosoma brucei.
Jensen BC, Kifer CT, Brekken DL, Randall AC, Wang Q, Drees BL, Parsons M Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 2007 Jan 151 1 28-40
Phosphoproteomics: new insights into cellular signaling.
Mumby M, Brekken D Genome Biol. 2005 6 9 230
Identification of phosphoproteins and their phosphorylation sites in the WEHI-231 B lymphoma cell line.
Shu H, Chen S, Bi Q, Mumby M, Brekken DL Mol. Cell Proteomics 2004 Mar 3 3 279-86
Molecular cloning of Trypanosoma brucei CK2 catalytic subunits: the alpha isoform is nucleolar and phosphorylates the nucleolar protein Nopp44/46.
Park JH, Brekken DL, Randall AC, Parsons M Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 2002 Jan 119 1 97-106
Polyamine and glutathione biosynthetic enzymes from Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi.
Kinch, L.N., Brekken, D.L. and Phillips, M.A. Biology of Parasitism 2000 95-119
Trypanosoma brucei gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase. Characterization of the kinetic mechanism and the role of Cys-319 in cystamine inactivation.
Brekken DL, Phillips MA J. Biol. Chem. 1998 Oct 273 41 26317-22

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2013)
  • American Society for Cell Biology (2014)
  • National Postdoctoral Association (2009)