Dr. Samuel Sternberg

Dr. Samuel Sternberg, PhD, runs a research laboratory at Columbia University, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. He received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 2007, graduating summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014. He earned graduate student fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, and was awarded the Scaringe Award from the RNA Society and the Harold Weintraub Graduate Student Award from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. After a brief book-writing stint, Sam worked as a Scientist and Group Leader at Caribou Biosciences before beginning his independent position at Columbia in 2018. He is the recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and is a Sloan Fellow, Pew Biomedical Scholar, and Schaefer Research Scholar.

Sam’s lab explores the biology of CRISPR-Cas systems and transposable elements, and develops these systems for genome engineering. In addition to publishing his research in leading journals and speaking internationally, Sam remains actively involved in public outreach and ongoing discussions on the ethical issues surrounding genome editing. Together with Jennifer Doudna, he co-authored a popular science book about the discovery, development, and applications of CRISPR technology. Titled A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution, their book was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and The New York Review of Books called it “required reading for every concerned citizen.”