David V. Schaffer

David V. Schaffer

Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Dept of Bioengineering
Dept of Chemical Engineering
Dept of Molecular & Cell Biology
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
(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 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.