David V. Schaffer

David V. Schaffer

Title
Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Department
Dept of Bioengineering
Dept of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Dept of Molecular & Cell Biology
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
Phone
(510) 643-5963
Research Expertise and Interest
neuroscience, biomolecular engineering, bioengineering, stem cell biology, gene therapy
Research Description

Our research program employs molecular and cellular engineering approaches to investigate biomedical problems. In particular, our lab focuses on the related areas of stem cell bioengineering and therapeutic gene delivery, with applications to diseases of the nervous system.

In the News

March 18, 2020

New technique ‘prints’ cells to create diverse biological environments

Like humans, cells are easily influenced by peer pressure. Take a neural stem cell in the brain: Whether this cell remains a stem cell or differentiates into a fully formed brain cell is ultimately determined by a complex set of molecular messages the cell receives from countless neighbors. Understanding these messages is key for scientists hoping to harness these stem cells to treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
November 26, 2019

UC Berkeley Professors Named AAAS Fellows

Honorees recognized for achievements in heavy element chemistry, tectonics, microbial photosynthesis, geological processes, particle physics, and biomolecular engineering
November 26, 2019

Five Berkeley faculty members elected fellows of the AAAS

Five Berkeley faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon the society’s members by their peers. The five are among 443 members awarded the honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of Science and five other journals.
March 4, 2019

Gene Therapy gets a Boost

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.
July 27, 2018

Five innovators join the ranks of the Bakar Fellows

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 13, 2015

Drug perks up old muscles and aging brains

UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that a small-molecule drug simultaneously perks up old stem cells in the brains and muscles of mice, a finding that could lead to drug interventions for humans that would make aging tissues throughout the body act young again.

April 24, 2015

“Intelligent Design” Can It Deliver?

Rather than trying to quiet the body’s defenses against viruses, David Schaffer has favored a kind of intelligent design approach to modify the virus. Known as directed evolution, the strategy uses genetic engineering to find variations in the virus that will allow it to effectively deliver drugs to target cells.

June 12, 2013

Researchers develop easy and effective therapy to restore sight

Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.

In the News

March 18, 2020

New technique ‘prints’ cells to create diverse biological environments

Like humans, cells are easily influenced by peer pressure. Take a neural stem cell in the brain: Whether this cell remains a stem cell or differentiates into a fully formed brain cell is ultimately determined by a complex set of molecular messages the cell receives from countless neighbors. Understanding these messages is key for scientists hoping to harness these stem cells to treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
November 26, 2019

UC Berkeley Professors Named AAAS Fellows

Honorees recognized for achievements in heavy element chemistry, tectonics, microbial photosynthesis, geological processes, particle physics, and biomolecular engineering
November 26, 2019

Five Berkeley faculty members elected fellows of the AAAS

Five Berkeley faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon the society’s members by their peers. The five are among 443 members awarded the honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of Science and five other journals.
March 4, 2019

Gene Therapy gets a Boost

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.
July 27, 2018

Five innovators join the ranks of the Bakar Fellows

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 13, 2015

Drug perks up old muscles and aging brains

UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that a small-molecule drug simultaneously perks up old stem cells in the brains and muscles of mice, a finding that could lead to drug interventions for humans that would make aging tissues throughout the body act young again.

April 24, 2015

“Intelligent Design” Can It Deliver?

Rather than trying to quiet the body’s defenses against viruses, David Schaffer has favored a kind of intelligent design approach to modify the virus. Known as directed evolution, the strategy uses genetic engineering to find variations in the virus that will allow it to effectively deliver drugs to target cells.

June 12, 2013

Researchers develop easy and effective therapy to restore sight

Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
October 3, 2019
Ron Leuty
4D Molecular Therapeutics, Inc., a gene-therapy startup spun out of Berkeley research by chemical and biomolecular engineering professor David Schaffer and adjunct bioengineering professor David Kirn, aims to raise $100 million in its initial public offering. The company, with 57 employees, engineers "viral vectors" -- the protein shells on which viruses ride through the body -- that have been cleaned of their disease-causing viruses and then harnessed to replace mutated genes with correct versions. The company has already established partnerships with Roche, AstraZeneca PLC, and uniQure NV, and it has raised more than $100 million in venture capital.
FullStory (*requires registration)

Loading Class list ...
.