Chancellor’s Professor, Bioengineering & Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Director, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at UC Berkeley
Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Biomaterials, Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering, Stem Cells, Cancer Biology, Translational Medicine
My research team and I seek to understand, control, and exploit communication between cells and their material surroundings. In addition to investigating fundamental aspects of how cells interact with natural and engineered materials, we are especially interested in understanding the role played by cell-biomaterial signaling in cancer and stem cell biology. An important recent direction for our work has been to synthesize or fabricate new tissue-mimetic culture platforms for biological discovery, molecular screening, and therapeutics in brain cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and obsesity-related diseases. Finally, we are very interested in developing new materials inspired by cellular structural networks that may have broader applications in biotechnology and soft materials science.
Sanjay Kumar earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota (1996) and his M.D. and Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University (2003). He then completed postdoctoral training at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has been a member of the UC Berkeley faculty since 2005 and chaired the Department of Bioengineering from 2019-2022. Kumar is currently Chancellor’s Professor and Director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at UC Berkeley (qb3.berkeley.edu). He and his group have been recognized with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, The Beckman Young Investigator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, and the Stem Cells Young Investigator Award. Dr. Kumar is an elected fellow of AAAS, AIMBE, and BMES, and he is a member of the BMES Board of Directors.