Phillip W. Berman, PhD

Visiting Investigator

Jack Baskin Endowed Professor

Phone: (831) 459-3529
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More about Dr. Berman

Dr. Berman was appointed a visiting investigator at Gladstone in 2011. His research focuses on developing new and improved HIV vaccines. In 2009, results of the RV144 clinical trial, involving more than 16,000 volunteers, showed that immunization with a vaccine invented in Dr. Berman’s laboratory, AIDSVAX B/E, provided partial protection when combined with another vaccine named vCP1521—and current efforts are focused on understanding the biological basis for the protective response seen in this trial. Development of a successful vaccine to protect against HIV infection would make a major impact on the worldwide spread of this deadly epidemic.

Dr. Berman is a biotech industry veteran with extensive experience in discovery research and manufacturing process development. Dr. Berman joined Genentech in 1982 and worked on many projects including developing basic technology for the expression and recovery of recombinant proteins, vaccines to prevent Herpes Simplex Virus and AIDS.

He is best known for his 25 year effort to develop an HIV vaccine. His quest began at Genentech and was continued at VaxGen, a company co-founded by Dr. Berman and CDC vaccine expert, Dr. Donald Francis. While at VaxGen, Dr. Berman served as Sr. Vice President of Research and Development where, besides carrying out activities to support the HIV vaccine trials, he participated in the conceptual design of a large scale mammalian cell manufacturing facility. 

In 2004, Dr. Berman and Dr. Francis founded Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases, a not-for-profit organization, with initial funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, dedicated to combining technology and expertise from the biotechnology industry and public health sector know-how to address problems of infectious disease prevention and control, including HIV, in the developing world.

Dr. Berman joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz in July of 2006 where he serves as the Jack Baskin Professor of Biomolecular Engineering. 


Featured Publications

Phillip W. Berman, PhD O'Rourke SM, Schweighardt B, Phung P, Fonseca DP, Terry K, Wrin T, Sinangil F, Berman PW. Mutation at a single position in the V2 domain of the HIV-1 envelope protein confers neutralization sensitivity to a highly neutralization-resistant virus. J Virol. 2010 Nov;84(21):11200-9. View in: PubMed
Phillip W. Berman, PhDPérez-Losada M, Jobes DV, Sinangil F, Crandall KA, Arenas M, Posada D, Berman PW. Phylodynamics of HIV-1 from a phase III AIDS vaccine trial in Bangkok, Thailand. PLoS One. 2011 Mar 10;6(3):e16902. View in: PubMed