Learn more about Bakar Fellows Projects

March 4, 2019
With support from the Bakar Fellows Program, David Schaffer is working on one of the first gene therapies to be approved for clinical use. The therapy acts to restore vision in children with a rare and previously incurable disease called Leber's congenital amaurosis type 2.
February 25, 2019
It’s still some years off, but Steven Conolly aims to see disease in a totally new way. He leads research on an emerging Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) technology that already can peer past tissue or organs to detect disease deep within the body.
February 19, 2019
Nearly 40 percent of women worldwide stop using birth control pills within a year – mainly due to side effects such as depression, weight gain, bleeding between periods and blood clots. Research by Polina Lishko on a non-hormonal contraceptive is showing promise as a new birth control alternative.
February 11, 2019
Cloud applications and the ever-increasing demand by large enterprises to transmit and analyze “big data” are stretching the capacity of even the largest data center servers as traditional switches become data flow bottlenecks. Ming Wu has invented a new optical, or photonic, switch capable of record-breaking speed that can be fabricated as integrated circuits so they can be mass-produced, keeping the cost per device low.
July 27, 2018
Five UC Berkeley faculty innovators have been selected for the Bakar Fellows Program, which supports faculty working to apply scientific discoveries to real-world issues in the fields of engineering, computer science, chemistry and biological and physical sciences.
May 21, 2018
More than 1,500 abandoned parcels of land lie scattered throughout San Francisco, from unused alleys to vacant parking lots and public easements. The combined area rivals the size of Golden Gate Park.  By integrating the potent tools of digital mapping with digital design technology used in architecture and engineering, Nicholas de Monchaux has created a new way to envision these many unused and underused sites together.
May 14, 2018
Lin He’s lab uses CRISPR technology to study how different genetic elements in a mouse embryo’s cell nucleus – genes that encode proteins, functional RNAs, and repetitive sequences – interact to assure normal development or trigger cancer.
May 7, 2018
Jamie Cate is studying stains of yeast that can handle industrial conditions to create a new platform organism for new biofuels and a range of industrial chemicals.
April 23, 2018
Your cell phone can already find your car and tell you what song the restaurant is playing.  How about an app to screen for eye disease? By coupling the sophisticated imaging capabilities of smart phone cameras with lenses and software for examining the retina, Daniel Fletcher and his students have developed a hand-held, user-friendly version of the optometrist’s ophthalmoscope and are teaming up with clinical collaborators to detect retinal disease caused by diabetes. 
March 6, 2018
When a car seat heats up on a hot day, it just gets.... hot.  But some materials become totally transformed by the sun’s heat. They undergo a kind of Jekyll and Hyde reversal called a phase change. They turn from insulators to metals. Junqiao Wu is exploiting the most remarkable of these compounds, called vanadium dioxide, to devise ways to cool buildings, winter-proof car engines, and even create novel sunglasses.
February 7, 2017
Imbedded in a sweatband, a network of sensors devised by Ali Javey can monitor moment-by-moment changes in electrolytes and metabolites, a potential boon to weekend athletes, diabetics and people exposed to heavy metal concentrations.
January 31, 2017
Bakar Fellow Kathy Collins develops techniques to capture genetic information embedded in cancer cells’ RNA — a new tool to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.
January 24, 2017
Jie Yao has developed a technique to readily change the structure of thin sheets of “metamaterials” so that they can focus light in an entirely new and commercially promising way.
January 17, 2017
The Bakar Fellows Program supports James Hurley’s research to develop a drug that can help neurons and other cells clear out debris – a process essential for cell survival.
January 17, 2017
UC Berkeley is known as No. 1 for producing serial entrepreneurs, and that fearless ethos doesn’t drive only our students. It also drives our faculty, says Amy Herr, the faculty director of the Bakar Fellows Program.
February 22, 2016

Bakar Fellow Pieter Abbeel studies deep learning in robots. The robot BRETT (Berkeley Robot for Elimination of Tedious Tasks) has mastered a range of skills, including folding laundry, knot-tying, and basic assembly.

February 16, 2016

Bakar Fellow Ronald Rael is advancing a type of 3-D printing that could add more beauty, variety and sustainability to building designs.

February 8, 2016

Bakar Fellow Holger Müller is redesigning an instrument known as an atom interferometer, capable of making extremely precise measurements of distance and gravity.

February 1, 2016

The Bakar Fellows Program supports Michael Lustig’s collaborations with clinicians and industry to speed adoption of the new MRI imaging strategies.

January 25, 2016

Bakar Fellow Ke Xu’s imaging technology allows researchers to distinguish between interacting proteins with exceptional color and image resolutions.

February 23, 2015

Shawn Shadden integrates diagnostic imaging with computational modeling to better diagnose stroke severity in patients. 

February 16, 2015

Laura Waller is working on computational imaging methods for quantitative phase microscopy, which enables one to map the shape and/or density of invisible samples in a non-invasive way.  Her group is developing simple experimental architectures and efficient post-processing algorithms for phase recovery, applied in a variety of scientific and industrial settings.

February 9, 2015

Andreas Martin has developed novel systems and strategies to screen for compounds that selectively inhibit protein turnover in the cell and may lead to new drugs against cancer.  

February 2, 2015

John Dueber is working to employ metabolite protecting groups for a sustainable indigo dyeing process.  The new technology has the potential to transform the Jeans (and related textile) dyeing industry into a "green business" using dye processes that would comply with modern regulations ensuring environmental safeguards.

January 27, 2015

Ana Claudia Arias has developed a technology to print lightweight electronic circuits and devices onto thin films. 

March 4, 2014

Feng Wang is studying how electrical fields modulate the optical properties of a number of materials. The flip of a light switch – a nano-scale light switch – may some day dramatically boost the speed of data transmission, from streaming movies to accelerating the most data-intense computation. 

February 25, 2014

Mary Wildermuth is developing plant breeding strategies that can weaken the effects of powdery mildew. If not controlled, powdery mildew is a fast spreading fungus that can cause billions of dollars of crop damage in California.

February 18, 2014

Daniela Kaufer made a startling discovery about the effect of psychological stress on the brain a few years after serving in the Israeli army during the first Gulf War. 

February 12, 2014

Felix Fischer and fellow researchers are fabricating strips of carbon only one-atom thick and less than 15 atoms wide, the aim is to create molecular-scale “wires” capable of carrying information thousands of times faster than is possible today.

February 6, 2014

Lydia Sohn is developing a new technique based on microtechnology to distinguish between different types of circulating tumor cells also known as CTC’s . She hopes this more sensitive approach will help clinicians learn which CTC’s are most prone to lead to metastasis.