Daniel DeWitt Brown, Ph.D.

You can contact me at Danielbrownphd at the ole gmail dot, you know.

About Me

Through most of my childhood and teenage years, I planned to become an artist. 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 studying the genetics of heart development. I have since studied various biological systems at several different institutions. However I never stopped making art, which now largely comprises of woodworking, as it remains my primary hobby. I only rarely sell my work or do commissions, though I’m open to considering them and will take one on occasionally. However, I generally try to avoid doing this for money.


Over the past many years I’ve been pretty obsessed with learning a new set of skills in various types of woodworking, particularly “intarsia”. I’ve also recently picked up stained glass. I previously did a lot of work with pan pastels and pastel pencils. I have also been done a fair amount of graphite pencil drawings, primarily commissioned pet portraits (I no longer do commissions).

Most of my older 3D digital work revolved around using the free and opensource Blender 3D modeling and animation software and GIMP, which is similar to photoshop. And I’ve done a bit of 2D digital drawing using tablets and computer.


Daniel DeWitt Brown, Ph.D.

I am currently a Research Scientist in the Institute for Precision Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in the Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI), where I work on cutting edge methods to culture, expand, and cryopreserve cancer-derived organoids (currently from breast cancer).  

From 2012 to 2018 I worked at MWRI where I studied ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive form of breast cancer that is thought to be a precursor to invasive breast cancer. Until early 2012 I was a research scientist for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to that I finished a post-doctoral position at Carnegie Mellon University studying the evolution of gene regulatory networks in organismal development (using sea stars and urchins as a model).  I was also formerly a post-doc at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science where I studied the biology and genetics of brain development and function. I earned a BA in biology from Hendrix College and a PhD in the Program in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


I am married to an absolutely amazing woman, Tamaryn. She’s a mental health counselor, yoga enthusiast, and artist.

On a whim she decided one day to try her hand at painting and ended up selling her first oil painting at her first showing. She has also dabbled in drawing and multiple other art media. These days, she mostly plays with pyrography (woodburning). Below is a sketch from her second day of learning to draw. She’s freakishly talented at everything she tries.

Sketch of my eye by @tamarynart

We have a pup named Kylo, having lost our fur kid Bandit. Here’s a portrait I drew of Bandit:



Any opinions and statements expressed on this blog are mine alone. They do not reflect the positions of any institution or organization with which I am affiliated. I reserve the right to delete any comment or ban any commenter for any reason whatsoever. Please direct any questions or comments directly to DanielBrownPhD [at] gmail [dot] com.