David Sanders

David Sanders is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.  He conducted his Ph.D. research in Biochemistry with Dr. Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., who was then editor of the journal Science, at the University of California at Berkeley. David Sanders originated the idea of the “Molecule of the Year” feature in Science.  

Dr. Sanders joined the Markey Center for Structural Biology at Purdue University in 1995. He was the discoverer of a biochemical reaction that leads to the entry of cancer-causing retroviruses into cells.  Professor Sanders also is the author of two U.S. patents on novel gene-therapy delivery techniques. His work on the Ebola virus led to his participation in the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention Program, a product of the Nunn-Lugar legislation.  His responsibilities included inspecting the Vector laboratory in Siberia, which was the site of biological weapons development in the era of the Soviet Union. He has investigated the transmission of viruses from other animals to humans and is often invited to speak on ethics, biodefense, evolution, gene therapy, vaccination, and influenza viruses in public forums.  Dr. Sanders has been interviewed by media around the world about his research and the role of science in public policy.