Cooper, Aaron (2012-2015)


Aaron is in the Molecular Biology IDP.  He joined the training program in 2012. His research mentor is Dr. Donald Kohn.  He received a B.A. degree in 2006 from Pomona College.

Mentor: Dr. Donald Kohn

Research project:


Since their development over twenty years ago, integrating viral vectors have become indispensable tools for stable genetic modification in experimental biology and in gene therapy. Despite the proven utility of these tools, significant challenges have been encountered in clinical trials with respect to both safety and long-term efficacy. Our studies focus on the application of new high-throughput sequencing technologies to assess the safety of our current gene therapy clinical trial for primary immunodeficiency caused by adenosine deaminase deficiency. Specifically, we amplify, sequence, and quantify viral vector integration sites from gene therapy patient samples to track the fate of modified cells and their progeny over time. We are also applying the same systems to study the efficacy of viral gene modification in pre-clinical experimental models, and we are developing new ways of using fluorescent proteins to monitor clonality both in vitro and in vivo.