2023: The Year of Gene Therapy

Over the past few years, I’ve found myself recreationally writing less frequently, so one of my 2023 goals is to do different types of writing more often. As I transition my website more from a collegiate resume to a professional portfolio, now seems like as good of a time as ever to shift this blog towards what’s relevant to me.

If you’re new to this website, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Calla, and I’ll be your host. I’m an engineer-scientist, and I’ve worked in biotech in Boston for the past 4 years. Before moving over to process development for CRISPR drugs, I used to develop analytical methods for proteins and oncolytic viruses. I’ve always been interested in biotech, and I’ve found that studying both chemical engineering and microbiology allows me to uncover both the how’s and the why’s when making new drugs.

Over the last few years, I’ve become really interested in different kinds of drug modalities for disease treatment. And throughout my masters and working in industry, I noticed that when I’d look up various scientific terms, I couldn’t find a really simple explanation to get a general idea. There’re tons of papers on all of these therapies, but when you’re learning about them for the first time, I found that all of the jargon was too confusing to start.

The purpose of this series is to explain complex biological and pharmacological topics to someone who’s just starting out. Whether you’re in med school, grad school, or just curious, my goal is to explain these therapies in simple language so you can understand those complex papers more quickly.

Since it’s an area of biotech that I’ve become familiar with, the theme of this year is gene therapy! Here is the line-up for what I’m planning to cover each month:

JanuaryHow do antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) gene therapy drugs work?
FebruaryHow do small interfering RNA (siRNA) gene therapy drugs work?
March-AprilHow do peptide gene therapy drugs work?
MayHow do plasmid vector gene therapy drugs work?
JuneHow do CRISPR editing gene therapy drugs work?
JulyHow do CRISPR interference gene therapy drugs work?
AugustHow do viral vector gene therapy drugs work?
SeptemberHow do oncolytic viral gene therapy drugs work?
OctoberHow do bacterial vector gene therapy drugs work?
NovemberHow do autologous CAR T-cell gene therapy drugs work?
DecemberHow do allogeneic CAR T-cells gene therapy drugs work?

In each post, I think I’ll write each topic in sections of increasing detail, where the first section is an executive summary, the second section is abstract level, and the third section lists literature articles that you could find an elaborative technical analysis.

So come along with me as we explore different areas of gene therapy. Up first, ASOs!

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