Charles Gersbach Named 2014 Outstanding New Investigator

Charles Gersbach, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has been named the 2014 Outstanding New Investigator by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. The award is given to members who have led an independent research program for less than 10 years and have made outstanding contributions to the field of gene and cell therapy. Gersbach will be recognized at the society’s annual meeting in late May and will also give a plenary lecture on his work.

Gersbach’s research is focused on engineering new methods for directing cell behavior to regenerate diseased or damaged tissues and treat genetic diseases. For example, his work was recently highlighted by an article in Quest describing his work to use enzymes called nucleases to edit DNA. Rather than introducing new DNA as many genetic therapy techniques attempt, Gersbach’s approach is to break apart existing problematic DNA and coax the cell’s own repair mechanisms to fix the problem. Other focuses of his laboratory include advancing techniques such as gene delivery, protein engineering, stem cell transplantation and synthetic biology.