David Odde, PhD

David Odde

Biomedical Engineering
312 Church St SE
7-132 NHH
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

David Odde is a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota who studies the mechanics of cell division and migration. Trained academically as chemical engineer, Odde joined the newly created Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1999. In his research, Odde's group builds computer models of cellular and molecular self-assembly and force-generation-dissipation dynamics, and tests the models experimentally using digital microscopic imaging of cells ex vivo and in engineered microenvironments. Current applications include the modeling of chemotherapeutic effects on cell division, molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, and migration of cancer cells through complex microenvironments such as the brain. Ultimately, his group seeks to use the models to perform virtual screens of potential therapeutic strategies. Dr. Odde is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES).


PhD, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University, 1995

MS, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University, 1992

BChE, Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1988

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Research Summary/Interests

The Odde Lab is focused on how the fundamental thermodynamics, kinetics, diffusive transport, and mechanics of the molecular components of the cell enable basic cellular functions such as migration, division, and polarization. From these studies we are seeking to then understand how these go awry in the context of diseases such as brain cancer and Alzheimer's disease, and take corrective therapeutic action.

We use an integrated modeling-experimental approach, developing physics-based models that are predictive of cell behavior in an effort to identify potential therapeutic strategies via computer simulation, constrained by live cell microscopy imaging.

In collaboration with other groups at UMN and Mayo Clinic, the Odde group is developing a cell migration simulator, which is the focus of a Physical Sciences in Oncology Center (PSOC) that Dr. Odde directs. In collaboration with other groups at UMN and U of Pennsylvania, we are developing a simulator for the interaction of microtubules and the protein tau, which plays an important role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Finally, we seek to more broadly integrate biophysical modeling and simulation into preclinical studies and clinical trials, so we can better stratify patients and de-risk new therapeutics.


For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library for Medicine. 

  • Bangasser, B.L, G. Shamsan, C.E. Chan, K.N. Opoku, E. Tu?zel, B.W. Schlichtmann, J.A. Kasim, B.J. Fuller, B.R. McCullough, S.S. Rosenfeld, and D.J. Odde, “Shifting the optimal stiffness for cell migration,” Nature Communications, in press.
  • Tubman, E.S., S. Biggins, and D.J. Odde, "Model for spindle-attachment error correction in budding yeast mitosis," Cell Systems, in press.
  • Castle, B.T., McCubbin, S., Prahl, L.S., Bernens, J.N., Sept, D., and D.J. Odde, (2017), “Mechanisms of kinetic stabilization by the drugs paclitaxel and vinblastine,” Molecular Biology of the Cell, in press.
  • Mekhdjian, A.H.*, F.B. Kai*, M.G. Rubashkin*, L.S. Prahl, L.M. Przybyla, A.L. McGregor, E.S. Bell, M.J. Barnes, C.C. DuFort, G. Ou, A.C. Chang, L. Cassereau, S.J. Tan, M.W. Pickup, J.N. Lakins, X. Ye, M.W. Davidson, J. Lammerding, D.J. Odde, A.R. Dunn, V.M. Weaver, “Integrin-mediated traction force enhances paxillin molecular associations and adhesion dynamics that increase the invasiveness of tumor cells into a three-dimensional extracellular matrix,” Molecular Biology of the Cell, in press. *Theseauthorscontributedequally.
  • Klank, R.L., DeckerGrunke, S.A., Bangasser, B.L., Forster, C.L., Price, M.A., Odde, T.J., SantaCruz, K.S., Rosenfeld, S.S., Canoll, P., Turley, E.A., McCarthy, J.B., Ohlfest, J.R., and D.J. Odde (2017). BiphasicDependenceofGliomaSurvivalandCellMigrationonCD44 ExpressionLevel. CellReports, 18, 23-31.
  • 6.Marko, T.A., Shamsan, G.A., Edwards, E.N., Hazelton, P.E., Rathe, S.K., Cornax, I., Overn, P.R., Varshney, J., Diessner, B.J., Moriarity, B.S., O'Sullivan, M.G., Odde, D.J., and Largaespada, D.A. (2016). Slit-Robo GTPase-Activating Protein 2 as a metastasis suppressor in osteosarcoma. Scientific Reports, 6, 39059.
  • Schaefer, R.M., Heasley, L.R., Odde, D.J., and McMurray, M.A. (2016). Kinetic partitioning during de novo septin filament assembly creates a critical G1 "window of opportunity" for mutant septin function. Cell Cycle 15, 2441-2453.
  • Cekan, P., K. Hasegawa, Y. Pan, E. Tubman, D. Odde, J.Q. Chen, M.A. Herrmann, S. Kumar, and P. Kalab, RCC1-dependent activation of Ran accelerates cell cycle and DNA repair, inhibiting DNA damage-induced cell senescence. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 27, 1346-1357.
  • Powers, J.D., B.T. Castle, and D.J. Odde, “The predicted role of steric specificity in crowding-mediated effects on reversible biomolecular association,” Physical Biology, 12, 066004 (2015).
  • McCoy, K.M., E.S. Tubman, A. Claas, D. Tank, S.A. Clancy, E.T. O'Toole, J. Berman, and D.J. Odde, “Physical limits on kinesin-5-mediated chromosome congression in the smallest mitotic spindles,” Molecular Biology of the Cell, 26(22): p. 3999-4014 (2015).
  • Castle, B.T. and D.J. Odde, “Optical Control of Microtubule Dynamics in Time and Space,” Cell, 162(2): p. 243-5 (2015).
  • Odde, D.J., “Mitosis, diffusible crosslinkers, and the ideal gas law,” Cell, 160(6): p. 1041-3 (2015).
  • Hepperla, A.J., P.T. Willey, C.E. Coombes, B.M. Schuster, M. Gerami-Nejad, M. McClellan, S. Mukherjee, J. Fox, M. Winey, D.J. Odde, E. O’Toole, M.K. Gardner, “Minus-end-directed kinesin-14 motors align antiparallel microtubules to control metaphase spindle length,” Developmental Cell, 31, 61-72 (2014).
  • Prahl, L.S., Castle, B.T., Gardner, M.K., and D.J. Odde, “Quantitative Analysis of Microtubule Self-Assembly Kinetics and Tip Structure,” Methods in Enzymology, 540, 35-52 (2014).
  • Castle, B.T. and D.J. Odde, “Brownian dynamics of subunit addition-loss kinetics and thermodynamics in linear polymer self-assembly,” Biophysical Journal, 105:2528-2540 (2013).
  • Bangasser, B.L. and D.J. Odde, “Master Equation-Based Analysis of a Motor-Clutch Model for Cell Traction Force,” Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, 6:449-459 (2013).
  • Bangasser, B.L., S.S. Rosenfeld, and D.J. Odde, “Determinants of maximal force transmission in a motor-clutch model of cell traction in a compliant microenvironment,” Biophysical Journal, 105(3): p. 581-92 (2013).
  • Coombes, C.E., A. Yamamoto, M.R. Kenzie, D.J. Odde, and M.K. Gardner, “Evolving tip structures can explain age-dependent microtubule catastrophe,” Current Biology, 23(14): p. 1342-8 (2013).
  • Flink C, and D.J. Odde, “Science+dance=bodystorming,” Trends in Cell Biology, 22:613-616 (2012).
  • Seetapun D, Castle BT, McIntyre AJ, Tran PT, and D.J. Odde, “Estimating the microtubule GTP cap size in vivo,” Current Biology, 22:1681-1687 (2012).