Benjamin Haley, Ph.D.
After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst, Ben followed his curiosity for the meaning and function of “junk DNA” to the graduate program at UMass Medical School, where he became Phil’s first graduate student. Surprisingly, Ben and Phil survived this experience, and together they unraveled several of the biochemical mechanisms that characterize the RNAi pathway, which, in-turn, helped to increase our awareness of the specificity limits of RNAi within applied contexts. After receiving his PhD, Ben went to Mike Levine’s lab at UC Berkeley as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow. There, he developed an enhanced Drosophila RNAi system for in vivo applications, further refined the in vivo specificity of RNAi, and also identified novel aspects of small RNA biogenesis and mRNA structure/expression using various model organisms. With his broad molecular genomics background, he joined Genentech, Inc. as a point person for applied functional genetics. There, he runs a research group focused on developing and implementing technologies to better model human disease and therapeutic intervention in cell-based settings.