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Senior Research Scientists

  • Marina Zieger

    Marina Zieger

    Senior Research Scientist

    Joined the Mueller Lab in 2017

    “I consider myself to be very fortunate. Doing research makes me happy, and I do it because of my natural deep curiosity, and thrill of a new discovery. My 2.5-decade experience in basic research powerfully fuels the translational studies to create new therapies. Every day in the lab has a special meaning: we serve other people in need of help.”

    Education and Training
    2008-2009: Postdoctoral training in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences under the mentorship of Professor Peter Hitchcock at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.

    2008: Doctor of Philosophy in Biology (Evolution of Vision and Eye Optics) under the mentorship of Prof. Victor B. Meyer-Rochow at the Jacobs University Bremen, School of Engineering and Science, Germany.

    1996: Candidate in Science degree in Morphology, Histology and Embryology under the mentorship of Prof. Felix G. Gribakin at the Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Biochemistry and Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

    1992: Master’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russian Federation.

    Description of projects:
    I have started my service at the Gene Therapy Center by joining Professor Claudio Punzo to study photoreceptor cell metabolism in a mouse model of geographic atrophy in 2013. Two years later, I joined clinical scientist Dr. Mai K. ElMallah and have gained work experience in AAV mediated gene replacement therapy for pulmonary disorders associated with Pompe Disease, very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using respective mouse models.

    Currently, I am working on three major projects: (1) The AAV mediated serpinaA1 gene replacement/augmentation therapy for the loss of function in Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (A1ATD) using A1AT null mouse model of lung emphysema; (2) Exploring a new strategies to correct the serpinaA1 gene mutation associated with pathogenic accumulation of the polymeric Z-form protein (gain of function) in the liver using PiZ mouse model expressing human Z-A1AT protein, and (3) The AAV mediated gene replacement therapy and  gene correction in Hermansky Pudlak Syndrom Type 1.