David Berry (inventor)

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David Berry
Born (1978-02-10) February 10, 1978 (age 37)
Education MIT, Harvard Medical School
Occupation Venture capitalist, entrepreneur, Flagship Ventures

David Berry, M.D., PhD., (born February 10, 1978) is an American inventor, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and CEO. Berry has co-founded and helped build over 10 companies in life sciences, technology, and sustainability. In 2007, he was named as the Innovator of the Year from the MIT Technology Review TR35 list of one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[1] He was selected as a 2014 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.[2] He speaks globally on topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship.

Early life and education[edit]

Berry was born in New York City in 1978. He graduated Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY in 1996. Berry graduated with a S.B. Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000. He was awarded his PhD from the Biological Engineering Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, completing his thesis in the labs of Robert Langer and Ram Sasisekharan. Berry earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 2006.[3] He was recognized in 2005 with the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for invention and innovation.[4]


Joule Unlimited[edit]

In 2007, Berry founded Joule Unlimited, which is developing Solar Fuels—drop-in fuels produced directly from the sun. Berry served as President and CEO of the company through April 2009, and currently serves on the Board of Directors.[5] Joule is pioneering solar fuels through a new technology that coverts sunlight, carbon dioxide, and salt water into drop-in fuels for prices as low as $20.[6]

In March 2010 [7] and again in March 2011, Joule was named by Technology Review as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies. Joule was named as one of the 10 most important emerging technologies in 2011.[8] Joule's unique and innovative approach to fuels led to its being named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2012[9] and to its receiving the Silver Medal in the 2011 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards.[10] Joule's technology has now been successfully scaled to a demonstration facility,[11] and the company has announced a commercial partnership with Audi.[12] Berry has been recognized multiple times as one of the top people in bioenergy by Biofuels Digest.[13]

Pronutria Biosciences[edit]

In 2009, Berry founded Pronutria Biosciences, which is pioneering a new approach to unlock the vast untapped therapeutic potential of proteins in the human diet.[14] Berry served as President and CEO through March 2012.[15] Amino acid biology is fundamental to life, regulating biological pathways critical to health. A variety of conditions occur when amino acid pathways become dysregulated. Pronutria Biosciences is developing first-in-class solutions to these conditions with a focus on amino acid biology. Using insights from a clinically validated body of evidence, they are pioneering new nutritional and therapeutic modalities: amino acid biologics. This novel approach allows them to precisely target biology that was previously inaccessible, providing a unique opportunity to address a variety of serious diseases and medical conditions, such as muscle wasting disorders, metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and critical care conditions, using nutritional and therapeutic approaches.[16]

Seres Health[edit]

In 2011, Berry founded Seres Health, a company that develops a new class of therapeutics based on insights into the biology of the human microbiome.[17] Seres Health has developed a new approach to functionally assess the changes of the microbiome associated with disease, and identifies a consortia of organisms that can catalyze a shift to health.[18] Seres has advanced is lead into the clinic for recurrent C. difficile.[19]


In 2005, Berry co-founded LS9, with Chris Somerville, Jay Keasling, and George M. Church, which uses synthetic biology to engineer microorganisms to covert sustainable, plant-based materials into low-carbon fuels and chemicals. LS9 has successfully built on technologies he invented with other co-founders to produce a scalable platform for renewable fuels and chemicals.[20] This technology was successfully scaled to a fully operational 135,000L facility in Okeechobee, Florida.[21] The impact and importance of LS9's technology led to its being named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2008[22] and its being awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s highest environmental honor.[23] LS9 was acquired by Renewable Energy Group in 2014.[24]

Flagship Ventures[edit]

Berry joined Flagship Ventures, a Cambridge, Massachusetts based venture capital firm that invests in and founds companies in healthcare and sustainability, in 2005 where he is a partner. Berry has been described "a rising star of the Boston-area venture capital scene," [25] and "one of the most brilliant thinkers." [26] Berry serves on the board of directors of Joule Unlimited, Seres Health, Pronutria Biosciences, Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO), and Symbiota.[27] Berry has been an author of 14 scientific papers and over 60 patent applications.

Honors and Awards[edit]

Other Affiliations[edit]

Berry is currently a trustee at the Hackley School,[34] a board member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and a board member of the Juventas New Music Ensemble.[35] Berry is a member of the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.[36]

Berry previously served as a member of the corporation from 2006-2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “LS9 Co-Founder Named Innovator of the Year in Technology Review's Prestigious TR35 List of Top Young Innovators,” LS9 press release, August 15, 2007
  2. ^ "Meet the 2014 Class of Young Global" March 11, 2014 Leaders
  3. ^ focused on tackling big problems. "David Berry: A "Fearless" Innovator with a Passion for MIT" MIT Admissions Website October 4, 2007
  4. ^ “MIT Student Invents promising Treatments for Stroke and Cancer,” MIT press release, February 27, 2005
  5. ^ Joule Company Website - Board of Directors
  6. ^ "Joule selects New Mexico for Solar Fuel Project" May 6, 2011
  7. ^ Technology Review's 50 Most Innovative Companies
  8. ^ Technology Review 10 Emerging Technologies 2010
  9. ^ World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers 2012
  10. ^ "A Faster Path to Biofuels" October 16, 2011
  11. ^ "Joule Commissions First SunSprings Plant to Demonstrate Commercial Readiness" September 11, 2012
  12. ^ "Joule Partners with Audi to Acceleration the Development and Commercialization of Sustainable Carbon-Neutral Fuels" September, 17 2012
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ [5]
  18. ^ [6]
  19. ^ "Seres Health Announces Interim Clinical Data" January 13, 2014
  20. ^ [7]
  21. ^ [8]
  22. ^ World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers 2008
  23. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Chemistry 2010 Award Recipients
  24. ^ [9]
  25. ^ "David Berry of Flagship Ventures on Funding Advice, Investment Themes, Trends in Biofuels" May 12, 2010
  26. ^ "Brain Storm: David Berry is Going to Solve the Energy Crisis…With Pond Scum" April 20, 2011
  27. ^ Flagship Ventures website - Team
  28. ^ "Meet the 2014 Class of Young Global" March 11, 2014 Leaders
  29. ^ [10]
  30. ^ "BBJ Names 2012 40 Under 40 Honorees" September 4, 2012
  31. ^ Innovators Help Reshape Reality, January 2, 2008
  32. ^ “LS9 Co-Founder Named Innovator of the Year in Technology Review's Prestigious TR35 List of Top Young Innovators,” LS9 press release, August 15, 2007
  33. ^ “MIT Student Invents promising Treatments for Stroke and Cancer,” MIT press release, February 27, 2005
  34. ^ Hackley School website - Trustees & Administration
  35. ^ [11]
  36. ^ [12]
  37. ^ MIT Website - Corporation Membership