Dr. Dan Dries came to Juniata College as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in January 2013. Dr. Dries earned his Bachelor's degree with Honors in Biochemistry from the University of Delaware in 2000 and his doctorate from the University of California, San Diego in 2007.
It was through the Honors Program at UD that Dr. Dries first began doing research. Dr. Dries worked on organic synthesis in the lab of Dr. Douglass Taber (Chemistry) before moving to Dr. Melinda Duncan's lab (Biology), in which he conducted and wrote his senior thesis on the function of a novel protein, BVES. At UC San Diego, Dr. Dries worked in the lab of Dr. Alexandra Newton (Pharmacology), where he used a number of biophysical and biochemical approaches to understand the nature of the interaction of protein kinase C (PKC) with cellular membranes. In 2007, Dr. Dries began a postdoctoral fellowship studying the role of the gamma-secretase complex in Alzheimer's disease while in Dr. Gang Yu's lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Dr. Dries maintains an active lab studying both the biochemistry and the physiological role of the gamma-secretase complex in the brain. Dr. Dries has published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education; he has also authored several reviews and one book chapter. He also serves as the faculty advisor for the Juniata College Student Chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).
The 2018 recipient of the the Henry H. '57 and Joan R. Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching, Dr. Dries is also a dedicated educator, principally responsible for teaching biochemistry at Juniata College. Dr. Dries is a vocal advocate for the use of active learning in the science classroom and laboratory, and he uses problem-based learning in his both his introductory and advanced biochemistry courses. His courses also focus on peer-led team learning as a way of building the skills necessary for a successful career, regardless of discipline. In order for students to successfully acquire these skills, Dr. Dries is committed to recognizing - and minimizing - the social, economic, and cultural barriers that stand in the way of students' progress. In doing so, Dr. Dries strives to build an inclusive classroom environment, one in which all students can succeed.
Originally from Southeastern Pennsylvania (Gilbertsville), Dr. Dries enjoys hiking, camping, golfing, ultimate Frisbee, and disc golf. He enjoys watching football (E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!) and ice hockey (Go Flyers!), and enjoys the symphony and the opera. Dr. Dries and his wife (a registered nurse) have a young son who is equally thrilled with football, hockey, and the outdoors. Their family also includes two cats (Bernie and Gnocci), two dogs (Max and Gracie), and a betta fish (Prettyscales).