Reuben Saunders

Hertz Fellow: Reuben Saunders

University of California, San Francisco

Area of Study


Fellowship Years

2016 - present

Reuben Saunders is a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studies chemistry. He is broadly interested in understanding how molecules, whose behavior is governed by physical forces, can work together to create something as complicated as a cell. Currently, he works in Bob Sauer’s Lab in the Department of Biology, where he has constructed a fluorescence microscope and developed a single molecule fluorescence toolkit to investigate the mechanism of protein molecular machines that unfold and destroy other proteins. As a Churchill Scholar, Reuben will study for an MPhil at the University of Cambridge before returning to the United States, as a Hertz Fellow, for his PhD.

Reuben has taught courses for middle school and high school students on computational biology, protein design, evolutionary theory, and biological weapons defense. He is as interested in history as he is in science, and strongly considered pursuing his academic studies in intellectual history. He hails originally from Santa Cruz, California.