Scott Dixon, Ph.D. ~ Principal Investigator
Scott was born in Ottawa, Canada. He completed a B.Sc. degree in neuroscience in 2000. In 2002 he completed an M.Sc. degree in neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario, working in the lab of Susan Meakin. He completed a Ph.D. in medical genetics with Peter Roy at the University of Toronto in 2007. As a postdoc, he investigated yeast genetic interaction networks with Charlie Boone at the University of Toronto (2007-2008), and cancer cell death with Brent Stockwell at Columbia (2008-2013). At Stanford, Scott is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, a Fellow of the ChEM-H (Chemistry Engineering & Medicine for Human Health) initiative and a faculty affiliate of the Cancer Biology Graduate Program and the Chemical/Biology Interface predoctoral training program. He is a Stanford Terman Faculty Fellow (2015-2018) and a Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator (2016-2019). He teaches Bio 83 (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) together with Or Gozani and Bio 301 (Frontiers in Biology) together with Jessica Feldman. In the lab, Scott enjoys helping out a bit with every project.
Leslie Magtanong, Ph.D. ~ Research Associate
Leslie obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Queen's University and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto, where she developed new genomic techniques to interrogate gene function in S. cerevisiae. Before joining the Dixon lab she worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Bill Jacobs at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, studying M. tuberculosis genetics and genomics. In the lab Leslie is currently investigating the role of lipid metabolism in degenerative cell death. In 2016 she published a review on the role of lipid metabolism in non-apoptotic cell death in Cell Death and Differentiation and was co-author on our p53/ferroptosis paper published in Cell Reports in 2018. Leslie was the primary mentor for former Stanford undergrad Alexis Kahanu, now a medical school student at Tufts.
Jennifer Cao, Ph.D. ~ Postdoctoral Fellow
Jen completed a B.Sc. in Human Biology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics, both at the University of Toronto. As a Ph.D. student with Lori Frappier, Jen studied cancer virology, proteomics and virus-host protein interactions. Most notably, she isolated a new interaction between the viral protein EBNA1 and the host protein casein kinase II (CKII). Jen is interested in the connection between cell metabolism and cell death and is investigating how disruption of intracellular antioxidant metabolism impacts mammalian cell growth and survival. Jen's review of ferroptosis was published in 2016 in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences and Jen co-authored our recent study describing scalable time-lapse analysis of cell death kinetics in Cell Systems. In the lab Jen has mentored Stanford undergrads Daisy McKim (BIO 199) and Trevor Mileur (Stanford Chemical Engineering/ChEM-H), as well as Aunoy Poddar (Columbia University visiting summer student 2017).
Megan Conlon, B.Sc. ~ Graduate Student (Department of Biology)
Megan obtained a B.Sc. in Physiology from Michigan State University. After completing her B.Sc., and before arriving at Stanford, Megan worked for three years as a laboratory technician at the University of Michigan where she studied graft versus host disease and the role of Notch signaling in pancreatic development. For her Ph.D. project Megan is studying the biochemical regulation of ferroptosis. Megan has a commentary on ferroptosis in plants in Molecular and Cellular Oncology and is a co-author on our recent study describing scalable time-lapse analysis of cell death kinetics in Cell Systems. Most recently Megan was selected to give an oral presentation about her work at the 2017 Cold Spring Harbor cell death meeting. Megan is the primary mentor for Stanford undergrad Carson Poltorack. In addition to her research, Megan has served as the social chair (2014-15) and vice president (2015-16) of the Stanford Bioscience Student Association. She is currently the Natural Sciences elected representative and co-chair of the Stanford Graduate Student Council (2017-18).
Amy Tarangelo, B.Sc. ~ Graduate Student (Cancer Biology Program)
Amy holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in Biology and Visual Studies. Before enrolling at Stanford, Amy worked for two years as a technician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, studying the function of the tumor suppressor Rb in human and mouse cancer models. Amy's thesis project concerns the regulation of ferroptosis by the p53 pathway. Her preliminary work won presentation prizes at the 2016 Stanford Cancer Biology retreat and the 2017 Fusion Cell Death and Metabolism meeting in Cancun, Mexico. In 2016, Amy published a News & Views in Nature Nanotechnology and in 2018 was first author on our paper investigating the link between p53 and ferroptosis in Cell Reports. Amy has mentored Stanford undergrad Carson Poltorack as a VPUE summer student (2016), our 2017 SSRP summer student Myshal Morris, and most recently our High School student Edo Biluar. Amy has supported her work with a competitive Graduate Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and most recently with an F31 predoctoral fellowship from the NIH/NCI.
Pin-Joe Ko, B.A. ~ Graduate Student (Department of Biology)
Pin-Joe obtained a B.A. in Biology from Columbia University, where he was an I.I. Rabi Scholar. His undergraduate research involved profiling microtubule plus-end binding proteins and how they regulate microtubule dynamics and cell polarity in fission yeast. He also spent a summer investigating the role of insulin signaling in nutrient sensing and fat storage in Drosophila. In the Dixon lab, Pin-Joe is investigating how lipid metabolism is involved in non-apoptotic cell death. Pin-Joe's preliminary work garnered a prize for best poster at the 2016 Stanford Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Symposium. In 2016, Pin-Joe was co-author on a review of the role of lipid metabolism in cell death, published in Cell Death and Differentiation. Pin-Joe is Stanford undergrad Claire Woodrow's (2016 VPUE summer student, Bio 199 student, etc) primary mentor in the lab.
Zintis Inde, B.Sc. ~ Graduate Student (Cancer Biology Program)
Zintis graduated from Brown University with a B.Sc. in Biology. Prior to joining the Cancer Biology Program at Stanford, Zintis worked for two years in the Greengard lab at Rockefeller University, studying the cellular and molecular features of depression. For his Ph.D. thesis, Zintis is studying cell death in response to metabolic perturbations at the single-cell level. Zintis was awarded a Graduate Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his work in the the lab. His preliminary work won a presentation prize at the 2017 Stanford Cancer Biology retreat. In 2018, Zintis published a comprehensive review on the impact of non-genetic heterogeneity on drug-induced cancer cell death in Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In addition to his own experiments, Zintis is currently mentoring Stanford undergrad and 2017 VPUE summer student Kyle Denton. Outside the lab, Zintis is the current president of the Stanford Biosciences Student Association (SBSA).
Giovanni Forcina, B.Sc. ~ Graduate Student (Biology, Chemical Biology Interface program), joint with Carolyn Bertozzi (Chemistry)
Giovanni completed his B.Sc. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University. As an undergraduate with Scott Strobel, Giovanni isolated and characterized a number of new fungal species and natural products from the Ecuadorian rainforest. He then worked as a technician in the Dixon laboratory for two years, prior to joining the Dixon and Bertozzi labs as a joint graduate student as part of the Department of Biology and also the Chemical/Biology Interface training program. Giovanni's Ph.D. thesis interests lie at the interface of glycobiology and cell death. His work in the Dixon and Bertozzi labs is supported by a Stanford Graduate Fellowship (SGF) and a Graduate Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Giovanni is first author on our study describing scalable time-lapse analysis of cell death kinetics in Cell Systems.
David Armenta, B.Sc. ~ Graduate Student (Biology)
David holds a B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard. As an undergraduate researcher in Andrew Murray's lab he studied the impact of genetic instability on the evolution of S. cerevisiae. In 2015, as a summer intern at the Natural History Museum of London he helped transcribe the letter of the early evolutionary biologist Alfred Russell Wallace. For his Ph.D. thesis research he is interested in understanding the relationship between cancer cell nutrient uptake and cell survival.
Jason Rodencal, M.Sc. ~ Graduate Student (Cancer Biology)
Jason received a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of South Florida. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2015 to study Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Leicester in England, where he earned an M.Sc. In Leicester, Jason worked in the laboratory of Dr. Salvador Macip and conducted his thesis research on the impact of physiological oxygen tensions and reactive oxygen species on senescence induced by p53, p21, and p16. After completing his thesis, Jason worked as a Research Associate for one year in the laboratory of Dr. Elsa Flores at Moffitt Cancer Center, studying the role of TAp63-induced microRNA in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. For his Ph.D. thesis research, Jason will investigate the regulation of cell death by the p53 pathway.
Claire Woodrow ~ Undergraduate Researcher
Claire is a junior Human Biology major who joined the Dixon lab in the summer of 2016 as a VPUE summer student and has continued to work in the lab since then. Claire is primarily interested in the regulation of non-apoptotic cell death and works closely with her mentor, Pin-Joe Ko.
Carson Poltorack ~ Undergraduate Researcher
Carson is a junior with interests in cancer biology and the history of the 1960's. He first joined the lab in 2016 as a VPUE summer student and has continued on since then in the school year as a BIO 199 student and in the summer with the support of a Major grant (2017) and of Bio-X (2018). Working closely with his mentor Megan Conlon, Carson is studying the role of amino acid metabolism on cell death.
Kyle Denton ~ Undergraduate Researcher
Kyle is an undeclared sophomore who joined the Dixon lab as a VPUE summer student in 2017. Kyle is working with his mentor, Zintis Inde, to understand how cancer cell death is regulated by MAPK signaling.
The Dixon Lab is supported by the outstanding efforts of our shared administrative assistant, Janet Elder, and our shared Laboratory Technician, Marcela Gona-Nogueira.
Myshal Morris, 2017 SSRP summer student from Langston University
Trevor Mileur, ChEM-H undergraduate researcher 2016.
Andrew Chen, Bio 199 student 2015-2016.
Alex Wells, VPUE summer student 2014, Bio 199 student 2014-2016. Alex a co-author on our study describing scalable time-lapse analysis of cell death kinetics in Cell Systems. Alex developed the entire computational pipeline making the analysis of data in the paper possible.
Alexis Kahanu, Bio 199 student 2014-2015, Bio-X summer student 2015.
Daisy McKim, Bio 199 student 2014-2015, VPUE summer student 2015.
Kristina Bassi, Summer student 2014.
High School Students:
Aunoy Poddar, Volunteer student 2014-2015. (Columbia University, Rabi Scholar)