Faculty Profile - Phillip Berman

Faculty Profile - Phillip Berman
Faculty Profile - Phillip Berman
Monday, September 4, 2006

Please Note: Updated information about Phil Berman can be found on his faculty profile page.

At VaxGen, a company he co-founded in 1995, Dr. Berman served as Sr. Vice President of Research and Development where, besides carrying out activities to support the HIV vaccine trials, he initiated the design and construction of a large scale, overseas, mammalian cell manufacturing facility as part of a joint venture (Celltrion) with Korean Investors. He also initiated a program in Anthrax vaccines for which VaxGen recently received an $878 million supply contract from the US government.

In 2004, Dr. Berman co-founded Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to infectious disease prevention and control, including HIV, in the developing world. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of AVIP, a European Union supported HIV vaccine development program and has served as an advisor on various committees focusing on HIV and other infectious diseases such as SARS.

Dr. Phillip Berman is best known for his 20-year effort to develop an HIV vaccine. His quest for a vaccine began at Genentech in 1982, where he worked on many projects including developing basic technology for the expression and recovery of recombinant proteins, vaccines to prevent Hepatitis B, Herpes Simplex Virus and AIDS. He also played a leadship role on projects focusing on chimeric receptors, and humanized monoclonal antibodies to treat autoimmunity and inflammatory disease.

At UCSC, Dr. Berman is interested in expanding the pool of qualified graduates for work in the biotech field and continuing to create AIDS vaccines for use in developing countries. 'The bay area is the most active and prolific region for biotech in the country. I'd like to provide training to Californians who want to support the important work of the California biotech industry.'

Dr. Berman will be teaching both undergraduate and graduate students. 'Every scientist starts out in university work. It's nice to be able to complete the circle and share what I've learned in almost 25 years in the industry,' he said.

The author of almost 100 scientific publications, Dr. Berman earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Dartmouth Medical School and received post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California, San Francisco.