Ben Deverman is the director of the vector engineering research group at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The vector engineering team develops innovative gene delivery solutions for studying the central nervous system, with the aim of uncovering new avenues for treating psychiatric disorders. Deverman joined the Broad in March 2018. Before this, he was the director of the CLARITY, Optogenetics and Vector Engineering Research (CLOVER) Center within the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology.
At Caltech, Deverman and colleagues identified numerous capsids, including AAV-PHP.B and an enhanced variant, AAV-PHP.eB, that cross the blood brain barrier and make it possible to deliver genes throughout the central nervous system. AAV-PHP.B and the enhanced variant AAV-PHP.eB are now in use in laboratories around the world and are enabling a wide range of translational and basic science experiments. Deverman led the generation of the panel of AAV-PHP capsids by developing a novel AAV selection method, called Cre Recombinase-based Targeted Evolution (CREATE), that uses Cre transgenics to select for AAVs that transduce defined target cell types. At the Stanley Center, his team’s ongoing work with CREATE and other high-throughput in vivo selection and screening methods is aimed at developing vectors that overcome current gene delivery challenges.
Deverman has nearly 14 years of experience as a molecular biologist studying neuroscience and AAV engineering. As a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology, Deverman’s research focused on viral vector development and the roles of cytokines during neurodevelopment and in the context of demyelinating disease. He received a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Washington University School of Medicine and a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Detroit Mercy.