Eoin Mac Réamoinn
B.A. (Mod), M.Sc.
My work with the Gene Medicine Group focuses on the development of a gene therapy and CRISPR gene editing for the rare disease Surfactant Protein C (SPC) deficiency. The SPC protein is a key component of lung surfactant secreted by alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells into the gas-liquid interface of alveoli, where it acts to lower surface tension. Clinical manifestations of SPC deficiency range from respiratory distress in newborn infants to chronic interstitial lung disease in adults. SPC deficiency is caused by dominant mutations in the gene encoding SPC and there are no specific treatments or cures at present. My research is focusing on the development of vectors that can 1) inactivate the dominant SPC mutation, and 2) deliver a functional copy of the SPC gene to AT2 cells in the alveoli.
I began reading for my DPhil in Medical Sciences with the Gene Medicine Group in 2019, having previously worked with the lab as a Research Assistant, during which I worked on the pre-clinical development of a lentiviral vector for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Before joining the Gene Medicine Group in 2017, I focused largely on developmental genetics. This work included a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Neurogenetics at Columbia University (USA), the overarching aim of which was to investigate the mechanisms that control stem cell differentiation and neural circuit assembly, and a Research Assistantship at the University of Dublin (Ireland), which focused on the “developmental activities” of key innate immune genes during mammalian embryogenesis. Past studies have been carried out at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology (M.Sc., 2014) and the Smurfit Institute of Genetics (BA. Mod., 2013) University of Dublin, Trinity College.