Danelle Devenport's research focuses on how cells assemble into highly ordered structures to produce functional organs. Currently, she studies how directional signals instruct cells to organize cellular structures at specific positions and orientations across a tissue. This phenomenon, called planar polarity, can be found in nearly all epithelial tissues but is particularly striking in epidermal structures like scales, feathers, and hairs that are precisely and coordinately aligned over the entire surface of the vertebrate body. Using mammalian epidermis as a model system, she is dissecting the mechanisms of how cells 'sense' direction and coordinate cellular morphogenesis over long distances. In addition, she focuses on how highly regenerative tissues maintain their precise organization despite continuous proliferation and turnover.
Her honors and fellowships include the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for postdoctoral research, The Wellcome Trust Fellowship and PhD Studentship, Overseas Research Student Award from Cambridge University, International Student Fellowship from the University of British Columbia and a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Danelle received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2004 and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University until 2011. She holds an M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia and a B.S. from Humboldt State University in California.