Dr. Daniel J. Leahy is the former chair of the largest department in UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences, the Department of Molecular Sciences. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms of cell signaling, examining the processes by which proteins and other molecules behave within living systems including molecular mechanisms that regulate growth in normal and malignant cells. Dr. Leahy’s work on one family of signaling molecules—the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor reception 2 (HER2)—has demonstrated how these molecules function in healthy people and in people with cancer. This research has influenced medical professionals’ strategies to treat cancers of the lung, breast, colon and gastric system. Before coming to UT Austin in 2016, he was a member of the Johns Hopkins faculty from 1993-2015.
Living cells constantly monitor and respond to their environment by detecting interactions between cell-surface receptors and their ligands. The Leahy Lab is interested in the molecular mechanisms by which specific signals are received and transmitted by cell-surface receptors. Active components of receptors and ligands are expressed and their properties studied by both biochemical and X-ray crystallographic methods. These studies are designed to provide a molecular basis for understanding the behavior of specific molecules in living systems.
Fields of Interest
- Structural Biology and Biophysics
- Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford University
- Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from Yale University
- Postdoctoral research at Columbia University
- Fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology