Molecular Biosciences welcomes Hans Dalton to faculty

Hans dalton

Hans Dalton will serve as an assistant professor in KU’s Department of Molecular Biosciences beginning in August. He was recruited through the university’s Research Rising initiative, which is investing $12 million over five years in four interdisciplinary projects that will address critical challenges facing humanity. The Big Data for Drug Discovery project is using artificial intelligence to analyze large amounts of biomedical data with the aim of understanding diseases at a holistic level and accelerating the discovery of medications to treat them effectively.

“Research Rising is a really cool concept to me because you’re pairing up several investigators to do these grants, and it immediately promotes collaboration,” Dalton said.

Dalton will come to KU from the University of Utah, where his postdoctoral research focuses on congenital disorders of glycosylation or CDG. He is on a quest to find repurposed drugs to treat these rare diseases and to understand the underlying biology of how the diseases occur in the first place. He plans to continue this research as part of the Research Rising team led by Mike Wolfe, the Mathias P. Mertes Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. The team also includes faculty in molecular biosciences, pharmacy, chemistry, electrical engineering & computer science and several departments at the KU Medical Center.

Dalton is looking forward to connecting with other KU researchers who use fruit flies as models to study diseases in humans, and to quickly setting up opportunities for earlier testing of potential drugs.

“I’d like to do a lot of big data generation right away using some of the core labs at KU to figure out new hypotheses and connect some of the dots on these diseases,” he said. “I’ve found in my initial work [at the University of Utah] that despite some of these CDGs being quite different from each other, there are some overlapping therapies that connect them. I’m trying to understand if there could be some treatment that could help more than one disorder at a time.”

Dalton will begin teaching courses in spring 2025.