This summer the Biosciences Area has hosted student interns ranging from high school- through graduate school-level. They came to our laboratories through a number of programs dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. Some of our interns took time from their busy summer to share with us highlights of their experiences in the Biosciences Area.More »
David Schaffer, a faculty scientist in Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB), has been selected as a Bakar Fellow for his work engineering cells to increase the production of viral vectors that can deliver genes into patients. In particular, delivery vehicles (vectors) based on the adeno-associated virus (AAV) have achieved success in clinical trials for rare diseases including hemophilia. But AAV is difficult to produce in sufficient quantity to bring gene therapy into routine clinical use. Schaffer, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley, is working to engineer cells for enhanced AAV vector production. With the support of the Bakar Fellows Program, he will work to create virus-producing cell lines that can generate many-fold higher levels of AAV vector than the current industry standard. Read the Berkeley News article to learn more about the award and his research.
Markita Landry, a faculty affiliate of the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, has received a prestigious two-year Department Of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award for her work developing optical probes for neuromodulators such as dopamine. An assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley, Landry conducts research at the intersection of single-molecule biophysics and nanomaterial-polymer science to develop new tools to probe and characterize complex biological systems. The DARPA project will focus on using synthetic near-infrared optical nanosensors—a new technology developed in the Landry lab—to develop a brain-computer interface driven by neurochemistry. Currently such technologies rely on electrical signals for signal acquisition, processing, and machine learning algorithms. Read a Berkeley Neuroscience news article to learn about how the award will allow her to investigate visualizing the probes in awake and behaving animals.
The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) has selected Eva Nogales, a senior faculty scientist in Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator and professor at UC Berkeley, as this year’s recipient of the Sandra K. Masur Senior Leadership Award. The award recognizes an outstanding scientist with a record of active leadership in mentoring both women and men in scientific careers. Nogales will be honored at the ASCB Annual Meeting in December 2018. Nogales was also elected by ASCB members to serve on the society’s executive committee as president-elect in 2019, president in 2020, and past president in 2021.
Biosciences researchers have developed a novel nanoscale membrane embedded with molecular wires that simultaneously chemically isolates, yet electrochemically couples, a microbial and an inorganic catalyst on the shortest possible length scale. This new modular architecture, described in a paper recently published in Nature Communications, opens up a large design space for building scalable biohybrid electrochemical systems for a variety of applications.More »