UW Bioengineering Assistant Professor Andre Berndt has been named a Next Generation Leader for 2017 by the Allen Institute for Brain Science. The program recognizes the outstanding contributions of early-career investigators, and facilitates their professional development by providing formal and informal opportunities to serve as scientific advisors to Allen Institute scientists.
Next Generation Leaders are selected annually via a competitive application process from a pool of international candidates. 2017’s cohort is the program’s fourth, and members serve a three-year term.
This year’s cohort will convene at a Showcase Symposium event, to be held in Seattle Dec 13-14. New members will present their work and meet with Allen Institute researchers.
Dr. Berndt joined UW Bioengineering in winter 2017. Dr. Berndt is a protein engineer specializing in development of next-generation optogenetic tools, or the use of light-activated proteins to control cells in living tissue, for brain stimulation and recording. He focuses on developing protein-based bio-sensors and actuators to monitor and control the activity of cells with maximum precision. He plans to use these tools to expand optogenetic approaches into organs such as the heart and pancreas as well as stem cells.