Daniel D. Brown, Ph.D.
A.K.A. Irradiatus (see here on why I am no longer pseudonymous and why I'm giving you my real identity)
(See my professional LinkedIn profile here. Connect with me if you are a fellow scientist, blogger, educator, or interested in science outreach)
You can contact me at irradiatus [at] biochemicalsoul [dot] com. You can also follow me on Twitter.
NOTE: This blog is now basically defunct. I now primarily only exist in blog format as Laughing Mantis Studio.
Most of my childhood and teenage years were spent thinking I would someday be an artist of some sort. Then I had two amazing teachers in biology who set me squarely on the path to becoming a scientist. After many many years of studying and training, I finally ended up with a PhD after studying the genetics of heart development. I have since studied various biological systems at several different institutions.
I am currently a breast cancer researcher at Magee-Womens Research Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to my current position I was a researcher Thermo Fisher Scientific. My previous position was as a post-doctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University in the lab of Dr. Veronica Hinman, where I studied the evolution of gene regulatory networks in organismal development (using sea stars and urchins as a model). I was formerly a post-doc at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, working in the lab of Dr. Perry Blackshear where I studied the biology and genetics of brain development and function. I spent my graduate school days studying the genetics of heart development in the lab of Dr. Frank Conlon at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In this blog I write mostly on science, nature, and outreach - generally on whatever happens to catch my fancy at the moment, though I find that most of my posts have at least a tangential connection with evolution ("Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky).
If you want to know why this site is named "Biochemical Soul" read this explanation. In short, this blog represents a large part of my "soul," with "soul" simply being defined as the essence of "me," emergent from my biochemistry and physiology - no supernatural connotations intended. I just thought it was a nice, pithy title...
My primary passions in life are:
- Developmental biology research
- Teaching at the college level
- Anything involving science outreach and education
My secondary passions are:
- Creating art (mostly digital these days). In the past I designed the banners for the excellent science blogs The Oyster's Garter, Observations of a Nerd, Southern Fried Science, and Neurotopia.
- Web development.
- Writing (I recently finished a rough draft of a novel - sort of Harry Potter meets Carl Sagan with a female protagonist and lots of aliens. "Where did I find the time to write a novel?" 45 minutes every day at lunch for a year and a half...)
- Photographing nature. Note: my online art and photography have not been updated for quite some time. This will hopefully be rectified soon.
- Playing music (none available online at the moment). I survived graduate school by playing in a crappy rock band called Weapons of Mass Distraction.
Selected Blog Posts
- Darwin and the Heart of Evolution
- Adaptation of the Week (A regular feature)
- Dino Visions of the Future? Not a Chance
- Morphed and Meeting Evolutionary Needs
- Judging the Orange County Science Fair
I have three awesome cats (Nina, and Dizzy - all named after famous Jazz musicians). Interesting side note: AFTER I named Dizzy, he became epileptic with full Gran Mal seizures. He is particularly prone to seizing if he is spun and made dizzy - as I discovered the hard way. Shoulda named him "Lucky" or "Perfectly Normal Brained Kitty". He has been on phenobarbitol twice a day every day for over 5 years. Also, his two siblings at the animal shelter had polydactyly (6 toes).
The opinions and statements expressed on this blog are mine alone. They do not reflect the positions of Carnegie Mellon University or any other institution or organization with which I am affiliated. I reserve the right to delete any comment or ban any commenter for any reason whatsoever (though I generally only delete spam and unnecessarily offensive or vulgar comments. I highly encourage debate and/or pointing out errors). Please direct any questions or comments directly to Irradiatus [at] biochemicalsoul [dot] com.