Postdoc Profile: David Michael Markusic
College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics/Cellular and Molecular Therapy
Area of research: Hepatic Gene Therapy
Hometown: San Diego
Degrees: B.S. 1994, UC San Diego; M.S. 2002, University of Amsterdam; Ph.D. 2007, University of Amsterdam
I am interested in liver gene therapy and have experience using both lentiviral and AAV vector platforms. I am currently focusing on using optimized AAV vectors for the treatment of hemophila B in murine and canine animal models (Ruth Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship 2009-2012). I have identified an optimal AAV2 Tyrosine mutant capsid AAV2(Y-F), developed here at UF, and in collaboration with former a postdoc in our laboratory, Ashley Martino, have shown that this novel vector has enhanced gene transfer efficiency and a significant reduction in a CTL response against capsid both in vitro and in vivo. Further, my research work has demonstrated that tolerance induction from AAV liver gene transfer of Factor IX can be used to abolish pre-existing inhibitory antibodies against Factor IX protein and lead to long-term disease correction.