Dr. Danfeng Cai is interested in how physical and chemical signals dictate cellular functions. She obtained her B.S. from Peking University, and later her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Denise Montell, where she used live-cell imaging to study how mechanical force regulates directional migration of cell clusters. Her Ph.D. work was awarded the Bae Gyo Jung Award by Johns Hopkins University. In 2014, she became a Damon Runyon cancer research fellow with Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz at National Institutes of Health. She later moved to Howard Hughes Medical Institute -Janelia Research Campus to study how chromatin organization and transcription can be influenced by biomolecular condensates, jointly mentored by Drs. Zhe Liu and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz.
Dr. Cai became an Assistant Professor at the BMB Department of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2021, with joint appointments in Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry and in Oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She uses advanced imaging techniques to study how biomolecular condensates function in homeostasis and in cancer.