Daniel DeWitt Brown, Ph.D.

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

About Me

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 studying the genetics of heart development. I have since studied various biological systems at several different institutions. Art/woodworking is now my primary hobby. I only rarely sell my work or do commissions, though I’m open to at least considering them and will take one on occasionally. However, I generally try to avoid doing this for money.


Lately I’ve been pretty obsessed with learning a new set of skills in various types of woodworking, particularly “intarsia”. 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 3D digital work revolves 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), 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 in the Priscilla McAuliffe Lab at MWRI where I studied DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), 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 Kelley Brown. She’s a mental health counselor, yoga enthusiast, and artist.

On a whim she decided to become a painter one random day and sold her first oil painting at her first showing. One day she decided to try drawing. Below is a sketch from her second day of learning to draw. She’s freakishly talented at everything she tries. She currently focuses on pyrography (woodburning).

We have a pup named Bandit. Here’s a portrait I drew of him:



The 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.