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Karin Meijboom, DPhil, Postdoctoral Research Coordinator

Date Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Karin Meijboom, DPhilKarin, Katharina Meijboom, DPhil, is a postdoctoral researcher focusing on gene therapies for central nervous system diseases in the Brown Lab. She is from the Netherlands and joined UMass Chan in 2019 working at Mueller Lab in the Gene Therapy Center and collaborating with the Brown Lab before joining their team in 2020. 

Karin received her doctorate from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, studying “Spinal Muscular Atrophy, disease mechanisms and therapeutic approaches”. She has an MSc. in Neuroscience and Cognition, and a BSc. in Cognitive and Neurobiological Psychology from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. She completed two internships, one at the University of Utrecht, investigating food addiction in rats, and a second, at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, investigating the role of exosomes in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. 

Karin did not initially plan to work in research. Her initial plan included becoming a psychologist, which was thwarted in her first week into her bachelor's degree. After listening to seminar researchers, she identified her career path. Based on her interests in genetics and the brain, she chose the Neuroscience and Cognition master’s program. Before graduating from her doctoral studies, which included working with antisense oligonucleotides, she asked herself, ‘what do I want to do when I grow up?, she knew it had to do with AAV-mediated gene therapy and CRISPR/Cas9. The only issue, she did not have experience in these areas. Dr. Meijboom credits Dr. Mueller for taking a chance on her, which was the reason she joined UMass Chan, allowing her to work on her biggest passions. 

Karin shared about her professional growth in her role and in Brown Lab, stating, “For the last year, I am realizing that I have grown in different ways. I am much more confident about what I do and what I know. While I was plagued by imposter syndrome during my doctoral studies and the beginning of my postdoc, I now know a lot about my field of study, and I also know I don’t need to be an expert at everything. Dr. Brown has given me the opportunity to apply for various grants, and I enjoy the grant process.” 

Her research passions include AAV-mediated gene therapies for diseases of the central nervous system, and she would love to start her own group studying and developing gene therapies for different diseases. 

If you see Karin Meijboom in the lab or around neurology, stop and say hello.  

For more information about Brown Lab, click here.