Headshot of Patrick Hsu

Patrick Hsu

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Dept of Bioengineering
Research Expertise and Interest
postmitotic genome, therapeutic macromolecule delivery, human neuroscience
Research Description

The Hsu Lab aims to understand and manipulate the genetic circuits that control brain and immune cell function to improve human health. They explore the rich biological diversity of nature to create new molecular technologies, perturb complex cellular processes at scale, and develop next-generation gene and cell therapies. To do this, their group draws from a palette of experimental and computational techniques including CRISPR-Cas systems, single cell genomics, engineered viruses, brain organoids, and pooled genetic screens. 

Current interests include 1) inventing novel approaches for editing the postmitotic genome, 2) developing engineered vehicles for therapeutic macromolecule delivery, and 3) leveraging library screens and brain organoids to interrogate human neuroscience at scale.

 

In the News

April 27, 2020

What COVID-19 antibody tests can tell us, and what they can’t

As the United States and much of the world move toward relaxing shelter-in-place restrictions to let people move about more freely, public health experts hope to rely on antibody tests to determine who has been infected with the COVID-19 virus and may be immune — at least temporarily — and who is still susceptible.

In the News

April 27, 2020

What COVID-19 antibody tests can tell us, and what they can’t

As the United States and much of the world move toward relaxing shelter-in-place restrictions to let people move about more freely, public health experts hope to rely on antibody tests to determine who has been infected with the COVID-19 virus and may be immune — at least temporarily — and who is still susceptible.

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.
June 29, 2020
Sharyn Alfonsi
A 60 Minutes investigation revealed that federal officials knew many of the antibody tests suddenly flooding the market were seriously flawed, but continued to allow them to be sold anyway. In early March, Dr. Alex Marson of UC San Francisco, and Dr. Patrick Hsu, an assistant professor of bioengineering at UC Berkeley, assembled a team of 50 scientists to do what the FDA had not: test the antibody tests. All but one test delivered so-called false-positives, meaning they mistakenly signaled antibodies in people who did not have them.
June 16, 2020
Kristen V Brown
Coronavirus antibody testing is suddenly everywhere, but results are often incorrect or inconclusive. Patrick Hsu, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, was a senior author on a recent study on the accuracy of antibody tests. His group analyzed 14 tests and found only three produced consistently reliable results. "People want answers: Am I immune? Can I go back to work? Can I play soccer in the park?" Hsu says. "But the story's not quite so simple." He says that even for tests that can accurately detect the virus, many questions remain. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News
May 13, 2020
Maria Medina
It's been pretty well publicized that an intensive study of proliferating COVID-19 antibody tests, co-led by assistant bioengineering professor Patrick Hsu of the Berkeley-UCSF Innovative Genomics Institute, has found that very few are effective and all have flaws, but that has not discouraged many eager buyers. "There are over 200 different antibody tests out there right at this point, more than we have for any other infectious disease," Professor Hsu says. "One of the things that we're able to do in our study is to test on individual blood samples both positive and negative, all of these tests against each other, head to head, right, in this bake-off, systematically." The tests returned too many false positives, and only one, called Sure Biotech, was found to be 100% accurate. "Some were over 10 percent, and some were even over 15 percent false positive, right? So that would really not be acceptable performance," he says. Link to video. For more on this study, see our press release at Berkeley News.
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