Dan grew up in Massachusetts and became intensely interested in chemistry during his organic chemistry course at UMass Amherst, taught by Gary Snyder. This interest was further fostered by Prof. Dhandapani Venkataraman, who Dan began research with during his junior year at UMass. During the summer prior to his senior year, Dan participated in the REU program in the Polymer Science and Engineering department at UMass, under the tutelage of Prof. Todd Emrick. Unable to choose between his two advisors, he continued work for both professors Emrick and Venkataraman on independent projects in olefin metathesis catalysts and conductive block copolymers, respectively through his senior year and the summer thereafter. Dan has again chosen to have two advisors, and is currently working under both Prof. Hawker and Prof. Jeff Bode in the chemistry department at UCSB.
Incorporating the powerful organic synthetic tools developed in the Bode group into a variety of new materials under investigation in the Hawker group, Dan hopes to synthesize new materials for a variety of applications, including stem cell culture.