Dave is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dave was born and raised in rural Iowa. He continues to help manage his family’s farm, which was recognized in 2010 as an Iowa Heritage Farm. Dave attended Gustavus Adolphus College, where he earned a B.A. in Chemistry and minored in Computer Science. He received his Ph.D. in 2007 from UCSF for his work on membrane protein structure determination with Robert Stroud. From 2007 to 2011, Dave was a Life Sciences Research Foundation fellow with Pamela Silver in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.
Research in the Savage Lab focuses on understanding and engineering two of the most compelling biochemical systems found in nature: CO2 fixation and genome editing enzyme machineries. Ultimately, this works seeks to develop enabling genome editing technology and apply it for improving photosynthetic CO2 assimilation in plants. For this work, Dave’s research has been recognized with the DOE Early Career Program Award, an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and he was selected for the 2018 “Future of Biochemistry” issue by ACS-Biochemistry. In addition to this research, Dave is a co-creator of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course on synthetic biology, a founding member of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium, and a co-founder of Scribe Therapeutics.