Julie Johnston, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Vector Operations group and has worked in the Gene Therapy Program for 17 years. She has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of gene therapy. Dr. Johnston received her PhD from the University of British Columbia, Canada, where she worked on small RNA viruses and trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Didier Trono at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA, where she worked on HIV pathogenesis. Subsequently, she joined the Chiron Corporation Center for Gene Therapy where she developed feline lentiviral vectors for gene transfer.
Dr. Johnston is currently responsible for the oversight of the Vector Operations group, which specializes in the production and characterization of novel serotype AAV vectors for basic, preclinical, and translational research. As Executive Director, Dr. Johnston manages CMC programs, interacts with investigators, and addresses scientific, safety, compliance, and financial matters pertaining to the Core. Dr. Johnston oversees a group of ~50 staff and directly supervises a Senior Director of Manufacturing Sciences and Technology, a Director of Analytics and two Program Managers. Dr. Johnston is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania Institutional Biosafety Committee.
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