Student NameAlejandro de la Cova
Faculty Mentor NameDr. Shannon Boye
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MajorInterdisciplinary Studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
MinorClassical Studies
Research InterestsGenetics, Immunology, Biochemistry
Academic AwardsGeorge and Liberty Perry Greek Tradition in Latin Scholarship, CALS Scholarship
OrganizationsAlpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society
Hobbies and InterestsCooking and Binge watching shows

Research Project

Using AAV2 CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Therapy to Treat Homozygote Cone Rod Dystrophy Type 6 Transgenic Mice

This research project will serve to reinforce the idea that gene therapy using CRISPR-Cas9 has potential in curing inherited dominant-negative disorders. Previous studies have shown that removal of the transgene in transgenic mice preserves retinal structure and function. Data from this study will go on to prove whether it is feasible to treat CORD6 using virus-mediated gene therapy. Additionally, this study will be used to optimize the various parameters associated with delivering gene therapy treatment in mice, such as time of injection and dosage. I hypothesize that using an Adeno-associated virus encoding a CRISPR-Cas9 complex will slow the progression of the CORD6 diseased state in mice and ultimately stop further photoreceptor death in affected retinas, thus preserving structure and function.