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 Recipient
NRSA by NIA, titled "AAV Vectors for Retinal Delivery in a Mouse Model of Age-related Retinopathy"