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2014 Predoctoral Researchers


Darrick Hansen

University of Glasgow
Linheng Li Lab
Characterization of the stem cells dedicated to regenerating the intestinal epithelium

Darrick Hansen has traveled broadly and gained so many unique experiences he could be called a world citizen. He grew up in California and Utah, and briefly attended Utah Valley University in Orem, but he was ready to see more of the world than just that. He briefly moved to upstate New York before completing a year of undergraduate study in Singapore. To finance his education and world travels, he interrupted his schoolwork to work as a drapery installer in venues like Aruba, before completing his bachelor’s degree in Scotland.

The first flicker of interest in science for Hansen occurred after reading a National Geographic article about nanotechnology. That’s when he decided to enroll at the University of Glasgow, where he earned a BS in molecular and cellular biology and biotechnology in 2012. There he found the first job he felt excited about getting to in the morning—researching the maturation of blood stem cells.  

In summer of 2013, Hansen worked at King’s College London, learning induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology with biologists Fiona Watt and Davide Danovi. Appreciating his preference for the non-traditional, Watt suggested he apply to the Stowers Institute for PhD studies. After researching the program, Hansen agreed; he didn’t even apply anywhere else.

When Hansen met Stowers investigators, he found them like-minded and enthusiastic about science and life. That clinched his decision to spend his next years in just one place. But don’t expect him to settle here: he thinks having a PhD offers even more opportunities to live abroad.