Eoin Mac Réamoinn
B.A. (Mod), M.Sc.
I joined the Gene Medicine Research Group as a Research Assistant in September 2017, having previously studied at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology (M.Sc., 2014) and the Smurfit Institute of Genetics (B.A. Mod., 2013), University of Dublin, Trinity College. My past work has focused largely on developmental genetics. This 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.
My work with the Gene Medicine Research Group is funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and focuses on the development of gene based therapies for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF is caused by mutations in the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene and leads to a buildup of thick mucus at affected sites throughout the body. In the respiratory tract alone, the buildup of mucus obstructs airways making breathing difficult. Treatment is further complicated by recurrent respiratory infections, which are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in CF patients.
Our research is currently focusing on the development of a new lentiviral vector (LVV) based gene therapy that can deliver a functional copy of the CFTR gene to the respiratory tract of CF patients. In my work with the group, I am currently assisting with preparation for the first-in-human LLV trial for treatment of CF. This work involves assay development and optimization, characterization of the LVV, and assisting in the transfer of the production of our leading LVV candidate to a Contract Manufacturing Organization.