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My interests are in understanding how things move from one place to another and across membranes in cells. I received my PhD at UC Berkeley working on sugar transport in E. coli and then did postdoctoral work at UCLA on SV40 nuclear import and viral assembly. My first faculty position was in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, where I turned my attention to understanding how plasmids enter the nulcei of non-dividing (and dividing) cells. Although almost everyone who transfects mammalian cells routinely, does so in dividing cultures, we usually do not have the luxury of targeting dividing cells. Consequently, if gene therapy is to work, we have to understand how DNA gets into the nucleus.

My lab has characerized several DNA sequences that mediate nuclear import of plasmids and have shown that they greatly increase the efficiency of gene delivery both in cells and in whole animal models of disease. In 2000, I moved my laboratory to the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. I also maintain strong ties with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Northwestern, as well as the Departments of Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering. I have a strong, diversified laboratory studying various aspects of DNA delivery and their applications to gene therapy of pulmonary and vascular disease. Our group is at the cutting edge of developing new methods for gene delivery to the lungs and vasculature which will ultimately lead to treatments for disease targets.

On a more personal note! I was born in Southern California and grew up in San Diego. I like eating and cooking, as well as brewing and drinking highly hopped beers, all while listening to Stan Getz and other Jazz greats or the Grateful Dead.

David A. Dean

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