Discovery Research Lab

Grounded in a thorough understanding of the basic biology of adeno-associated viruses, our discovery research aims to develop improved gene transfer vehicles for a variety of targets.


Discovery Research Overview

Research in the lab primarily emphasizes the use of somatic gene transfer to correct inherited defects; however, recent advances in genome engineering technologies are also being explored for their therapeutic applications. 

The Wilson Lab is isolating and characterizing new families of adeno-associated viruses from a variety of species and studying the mechanisms of in vivo transduction to inform capsid engineering efforts. 

Another major effort is the development of genetic vaccines against a number of biological weapons and emerging infections, such as Ebola virus and the SARS coronavirus. The Wilson Lab is directly involved in the study of these pathogens in specialized containment facilities at Penn and collaborating institutions.