Photo of Zhiquan Liu, PhD

2023 Alston Callahan, MD Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Zhiquan Liu, PhD
Stanford University, USA

PROJECT TITLE: Gene therapy for PDE6A deficient retinitis pigmentosa via CRISPR base editing

Dr. Liu earned his undergraduate and graduate training in biology at Jilin University in China, was in the top 1% of students and published many high impact papers. He went on to earn his PhD degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in 2022 at Jilin. He is interested in the modification and application of CRISPR genome editing technologies for therapeutic research in eye diseases. He will be mentored by Yang Sun, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair, Academic Affairs and Director, Stanford SOAR Program, Ophthalmology Department at Stanford University and will train in her laboratory. Dr. Sun says of Dr. Liu, “He is brilliant and incredibly creative, productive and hardworking and has a passion for research.”
In his project, Dr. Liu will use CRISPR base-editing for gene therapy to treat a specific form of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). After in vitro screening to optimize the base editing, he will attempt to correct the PDE6A mutation in a mouse model via subretinal injections using AAV delivered vector.

Definitions: CRISPR – clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. A technology used to selectively modify the DNA of living organisms.