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Daniel Lew obtained a BA in genetics from Cambridge University (UK), and then a PhD in molecular biology working with James Darnell on interferon-stimulated transcription at the Rockefeller University (NY). After postdoctoral training on yeast genetics and cell cycle control with Steve Reed at the Scripps Research Institute (CA), he joined the Duke University faculty in 1994. His work has focused on the control of the cell cycle by cell shape and cytoskeletal stress, and on polarity establishment, with a view to understanding the universal problems of symmetry breaking and singularity (i.e. why a polarized cell has one and only one “front”). His group combines mathematical modeling with genetics/biochemistry/cell biology approaches to understand the design principles of the polarity machinery, and more recently the basis for effective tracking of pheromone gradients. He is currently a James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.