Jillian Staiti

Research Lab Tech II

Education: Bachelors in Genetics and Biotechnology

Research Projects: EGFR Family Receptors in HPV negative Cervical Cancer

Research Interest: Gene therapy

Career Ambition: Primary Investigator


Vector Core Team

Emma Couto

Program Coordinator

Education: Graduated from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor’s of science in Biology in addition to minors in psychology and chemistry.

Research Projects: During undergrad, I worked with D. melanogaster to study the role of GPCR’s on salivary gland migration during embryonic development.

Research Interest: I find the work of the GTVC to be so interesting because it has the potential to influence research in so many fields. Having a hand in multiple projects at the ground level makes the work both exciting and rewarding.

Career Ambition: Return to graduate school and further my understanding in a more targeted field.



Vector Core Team

  • Nerea Zabaleta, PhD


  • Jillian Staiti

    Research Lab Tech II

Nerea Zabaleta, PhD


Nerea Zabaleta, PhD, is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. Her research lab forms part of the Grousbeck Gene Therapy Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, USA, and of the Ocular Genomics Institute. She received a PhD degree in biomedical research from the University of Navarra, Spain, in 2018. She has a strong background in translational gene editing and gene therapy for inherited liver metabolic disorders as well as preclinical development of vaccines. Her laboratory aims at developing and optimizing adeno-associated viral vector (AAV)-based therapies for inherited and infectious disorders. Her goal is to create custom AAV vectors that adequate to the needs of each disease and target specific cell types rather than specific organs, creating more effective and safer therapies. Her work has been published in high impact journals, and she is inventor of two patents, including an AAV-based vaccine platform. Additionally, she is a board member of ECUSA (Spanish Scientist in the USA, non-profit) and volunteers her time to advocating for inclusion and gender equity.


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