Benjamin Epstein is a PhD candidate in the bioengineering department at UC Berkeley working in the laboratories of David Schaffer and John Flannery. His current research focuses on developing and improving gene therapy techniques for clinical application. Benjamin is applying gene editing technology in conjunction with viral gene therapy approaches to the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa. He has also developed a new CRISPR/Cas9 system for improved long-term safety in therapeutic applications. Benjamin came to UC Berkeley from MIT, where he first developed his interest in therapeutically focused bioengineering in his work on generating a new type of antibody-based molecule for cancer treatment.