Dickinson Lab


Dan Dickinson

Assistant Professor

Dan has been obsessed with cell polarity ever since graduate school, when he discovered polarized epithelial tissues in Dictyostelium with Bill Weis and James Nelson at Stanford. After finishing his Ph.D. at Stanford, he was a postdoc in Bob Goldstein’s lab at UNC Chapel Hill where he developed genome editing and single-cell biochemistry tools to study polarity in the C. elegans zygote. 

Ivy Chang

Ph.D. Student

Ivy was an undergraduate at the University of Washington. She’s used high-resolution imaging and manipulation of PAR-3 oligomers to understand how cortical flow can transport proteins to polarize cells, and is now working on understanding how PAR complex assembly is regulated. 

Sheng-Ping Hsu

Ph.D. Student

Sheng-Ping comes from a neuroscience background but has become an sc-SiMPull expert since joining the lab. Right now he’s working on studying PAR complex assembly in the C. elegans zygote, but eventually hopes to extend his work to C. elegans and mammalian neurons.

Nadia Manzi

Ph.D. Student

Nadia was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona where she worked on cancer cell invasion; she received a prestigious AMGEN scholarship while an undergrad. She’s launching a new project exploring how cell cycle machinery influences the molecular organization of the PAR system in both C. elegans and mammalian stem cells.

Nicole Shi

Ph.D. Student

Nicole studied medicine in China before shifting her focus to basic research.  She’s working on dissecting mechanisms of  polarity in mammalian cells, using stem cell derived organoid cultures. 

Yash Shukla

Ph.D. Student

Yash was an undergraduate in Hong Kong, where he worked with DNA Origami and aptamers.  He’s leading a collaboration with the Cenik lab to study how newly-translated proteins remodel polarity in post-zygotic C. elegans embryos.

Naomi Stolpner

Ph.D. Student

Naomi was an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, where she worked on Drosophila border cell migration in Denise Montell’s lab. She’s studying how PAR polarity is reprogrammed in post-zygotic stages of C. elegans development.

Jacquelyn Wright

Ph.D. Student (co-advised by David Taylor)

Jacquelyn completed her undergraduate studies at Creighton University where she implemented TIRF microscopy and studied an interaction between two proteins that functions in gene silencing. She is working on a joint project between our lab and Dr. David Taylor’s lab, utilizing single-molecule microscopy techniques to characterize CRISPR enzymes both in vitro and in vivo.

Lea Jinks

Lab Manager

Lea has an undergraduate degree in biology and worked in a lab studying corals before joining us at UT.  They help keep the lab organized and running smoothly. 

Nitya Kopparapu

Post-Bac Researcher

Nitya graduated from UT in 2021 with a biochemistry major and computer science minor. She’s working with Nicole to characterize polarity protein localization in mouse ES cells. 

Lars Deutz

Undergraduate Researcher

Lars is a neuroscience major and a member of the prestigious Dean’s Scholars program who is using single-cell in vivo biochemistry to study the CDC-42 small GTPase.  

Lauren Ohler

Undergraduate Researcher

Lauren has a strong interest in mammalian developmental biology and has previously done research at MD Anderson cancer center.  She’s working with Nicole on 3D organoid models of polarity.  

Bailey de Jesus

Undergraduate Researcher

Bailey is an alum of our Glow Worms Freshman Research Initiative stream who is working with Nadia to study the role of the Aurora A cell cycle kinase in early zygote polarity.

All are welcome!

We’re proud to be a team that includes people of diverse backgrounds. If you love worms, cells, molecules, microscopes or all of the above, You Belong Here.

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