Posted by: Dan | November 30, 2006

Dissertation defended

Brief update: My PhD defense yesterday went as well as can be expected – my committee roughed me up a bit, just as any reviewer would but no worse – and now I’ve got a some revisions and a couple more quick ‘n dirty experiments to do in the coming weeks. At the same time, I’ll be finishing up a second paper and submitting it (to J. Cell Biol. or J. Biol. Chem, hopefully).

And although I don’t think he’s aware that I’ve been maintaining a blog (I kept it under the radar here in the Molecular Medicine department), I’d like to thank my advisor, Jun-Lin Guan, for his patience and encouragement.

Also, starting tomorrow, I officially start working as a postdoc, with an appointment to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, lab space in Duffield Hall, and office space overlooking the engineering quad at Cornell.

As a reference to anyone who might be interested in similar work, I’m making the first chapter of my dissertation (introductory, and I hope a good review) available publicly. Please contact me with any questions (or if you find them, typos).

Integrin receptors and determinants of polarity in directed cell migration (PDF)


  1. Congratulations! (I think?!) Are you saving your exuberance until after the revisions? Or perhaps after you see what the view is like out your new office window?


  2. Congratualtions! Remember: anything you could do as a grad student, you can do as a post-doc, but you’ll get paid more.

  3. Thanks! – yeah, I’m quite happy, but at the same time, after years as a grad student, it hasn’t sunk in that I’m essentially done.

  4. Congratulations :), mine will be up around February next year.

  5. […] So, congratulations to Dr. Dan Rhoads on successfully defending his dissertation! (In the U.K. a dissertation defence is called viva voce instead.) I’m sure he’ll be doing more exciting work at Cornell’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. […]

  6. (In the U.K. a dissertation defence is called viva voce instead.)

    Oh yeah, I think I heard a song about that: Living la viva voce.

  7. Congrats, Daniel. That’s great news. Thanks for putting the first chapter of your dissertation online. As someone who used to study cell migration in blood vessel development from a cell biology perspective and now studies protein-protein interactions involved in cell migration and adhesion (particularly those involving the integrins) from a structural biology perspective, I think this is a fascinating topic. Are you going to work on a similar project for your postdoc?

  8. Thanks – The group I’ve started working with in biomedical engineering is going to be a highly interdisciplinary approach to studying two things. First, and primarily, I’ll be studying the motility and survival of mouse neural progenitor cells, with an eye on neurogenesis in the adult injured CNS. Secondarily, I’ll be helping to develop an in vitro model of vasculogenesis, involving 3D gels and HUVECs, and with an eye towards the principles of vascularization in development and tissue engineering. I’m quite excited about both projects!

  9. My hearty congratulations :-)

  10. For ideas on 3D in vitro vasculogenesis assays, you should check out the papers by George E. Davis (my former boss), whose group has a pretty powerful one in use right now. Here’s an example:

    Coregulation of vascular tube stabilization by endothelial cell TIMP-2 and pericyte TIMP-3

  11. Funny that you mention it, but I was just in a joint group meeting this afternoon, where George Davis’ name came up, in a data discussion titled “Towards a functional vascular plexus in vitro.” Granted, I was a little perplexed at the moment why she showed a figure from the literature and only cited Davis et al., without citing which year – but from doing a “Davis GE” pubmed search, I see why the grad student in question didn’t cite a specific paper. There’s tons of stuff there that’s highly relevant.

    Looks like I got me some readin’ to do! Thanks!

  12. it’s amazing you’ve been able to keep your blog under the radar considering you’re featured in the Chronicle online nov17 as one of several bloggers
    congrats, keep it up!

  13. Congragts Dan. Also I’ll have to read your intro – sounds like the type of work I used to do (and miss).

    If we ever meet, I’ll owe you a beer!

  14. If we ever meet, I’ll owe you a beer!

    You’re on!


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