David Van Vactor




Professor of Cell Biology

Harvard Medical School

Boston, Massachusetts


Dr. Van Vactor is a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a member of the Program in Neuroscience and the DFCI/Harvard Cancer Center. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan.  Dr. Van Vactor received his B.A. in Behavioral Biology at the Johns Hopkins University, and went on to receive his Ph.D. from the Department of Biological Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has been an instructor for Neurobiology courses at the Marine Biology Laboratories in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a course Director at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories on Long Island, and is co-Director of a summer course at OIST.  Dr. Van Vactor has been the recipient of a Medical Foundation New Investigator award, as well as Scholar awards from the Klingenstein Foundation, the McKnight Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as Partner in Research with Nikon Corp.  From 2007-2014 he was head of the Graduate Programs in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) in Harvard's Division of Medical Sciences, and since 2014 he directs the cross-campus Developmental and Regenerative Biology (DRB) Program within BBS. He is founding Director of the Curriculum Fellows Program at HMS.  He is also Director of Basic Science Partnership (BSP), an educational outreach program.