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Cristina Barilla, PhD

Cristina Barilla, PhD

Biography

Dr. Cristina Barilla received her PhD in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Pavia, Italy, in 2018. She spent one year as Postdoc at the University of Firenze and then joined UTHealth in 2019 in Dr. Davis lab at IMM. Her research interests involve the use of gene-editing techniques and stem cell models to study genetic disorders. Currently she is applying those technologies to design treatments for Cystic Fibrosis.

Education

PhD, University of Pavia, 2018

Advisor

Brian R Davis, PhD

Research Description

Dr. Barilla is using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeting integration to restore CFTR function in patients affected by Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF is the most common genetic disease and it is caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. Her approach aims to insert a partial corrective CFTR cDNA into CFTR locus. This strategy has the advantage to correct all CFTR mutations located downstream of the integration site, becoming a virtually universal treatment for CF. Dr. Barilla improved the targeting and culture conditions of the cells which now have the capacity to be expanded enough to use for cell therapy.