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Derek Thirstrup, M.S.

Image Analyst


Derek Thirstrup joined the Allen Institute for Cell Science in May 2016 and currently serves as an image analyst in the AICS Microscopy & Image Analysis group. The group utilizes advanced microscopy methods to study how GFP tagged protein structures change as stem cells undergo processes such as cell differentiation. Derek received his BS in Chemistry from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  He was involved in an undergraduate student research project studying the distribution of environmental lead pollution on school playgrounds.  Derek received his master’s degree from the University of Washington in 2004, majoring in Analytical Chemistry. His research interests include building 2D & 3D image segmentation pipelines, cell biology, and development of quantitative IF/IHC tissue pathology assays.  From 2013 to April 2016, he worked as an image processing scientist implementing novel tissue pathology assays to rank combination chemotherapy agent potencies from arrayed microdose injections while at a local Seattle precision oncology personalized medicine startup, Presage Biosciences. From 2008 to 2013, he worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington in the Department of Laboratory Medicine on proteomic biomarker discovery assays utilizing aptamer affinity reagents modified with hydrophobic side chain moieties.  From 2004 to 2008, he worked on a reverse transfection RNAi cell microarray project at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Science Programs at Allen Institute