Katharine Liang



A Seattle native, I attended the University of Washington where I graduated in 2007 with a BS in Neurobiology and a minor in International Studies. Following graduation, I moved to Bethesda, MD where I spent a year doing research in the Postbaccalaureate IRTA Program at the National Eye Institute at NIH. I joined the MD/PhD Program at UNC in 2008 and the Neurobiology Curriculum in 2010. When I am not in lab, I can often be found swimming, hiking, doing yoga, or playing electric violin with my band, Scarlet Virginia.


I joined Jude Samulski’s lab in the Gene Therapy Center in the Fall of 2010. Our lab studies Adeno-Assiciated Virus (AAV), a non-pathogenic virus that can be used safely for gene therapy. Much of our lab's research focuses on engineering the viral capsid to optimize its use as a vector for a wide variety of gene therapy applications. My project involves using AAV as a tool to treat eye diseases that are caused by oxidative stress. My long-standing interest in the eye lends itself well to gene therapy, as the eye is a relatively enclosed system that is relatively immunoprivileged, and is one of the first organ systems in which gene therapy has been shown to be clinically successful.


Neurobiology Training Grant