David Ryffel was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He received a B.S. with honors in chemistry from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island where he researched carbohydrate-carbohydrate interactions under Dr. Amit Basu, a UIUC graduate. He returned to the Midwest after four years in the Northeast to attend the University of Illinois and joined the Sarlah group in 2019, where he is working on the synthesis of natural products. In his free time, he enjoys doing the crossword and listening to music by bands no one has heard of.