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Office of Graduate Education Stanford Biosciences Office of Graduate Education

Dan V. Madison, PhD

Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology

Dan V. Madison, PhDMy path to becoming Stanford Faculty was, I suppose, a fairly standard one: graduate school and a couple of postdocs. I ultimately accepted a position in 1988 in the new Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, chaired by my postdoctoral mentor, Richard Tsien.

I have two major areas where I have dispensed the most mentoring. My laboratory has always been small, and because of that small size, I have always maintained a fairly informal mentoring style in the lab. I tend to eschew formal meetings in favor of simply talking to the people in my lab nearly every day. Most of that informal feedback is concerned with helping the people in my lab learn to solve experimental issues, learn and practice good experimental design, improve their scientific writing by co-writing manuscripts, and to offer general encouragement when it is needed. We also have regular lab meetings where lab members can present their work and get feedback on their presentation skills. I am also the long-time director of the MCP graduate program. In that capacity, I meet more formally with the students of the program to discuss issues of importance to them and the program.

Beyond telling you that I am enthusiastic to do what I can to promote diversity at Stanford, I expect that the students of SoLID are probably going to provide more to me than I to them. I see this as a learning opportunity for myself to better understand the issues surrounding diversity, the additional issues that a diverse student population face beyond the usual things that come up in the common graduate student experience, and to learn to help each other find solutions to the issues that arise surrounding diversity. Let’s mentor each other!

Students can email me directly at