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Kristina Ertel

Kristina Ertel_Academic Profile

Kristina Ertel

Graduate Student

Locations

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Ocular Gene Therapy Laboratory
    Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute
    925 N. 87th St.
    Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509

Contact Information

Education

Mentor: Daniel Lipinski, MSc, DPhil
Year Entered MCW: 2017
Previous Education: BS, Biology Marian University, Fond du Lac WI

Biography

My interest in research was sparked at Marian University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Lance Urven, I undertook a project studying the structural differences of midbodies during different periods of development in zebrafish embyros. After graduating with my bachelor's degree, I took a position as Research Technologist in the OGTL where I worked on creating rAAV2/2 capsid mutants that efficiently transduce photoreceptors. I subsequently applied to MCW for doctoral training and was accepted into the IDP program. After rotating through several labs, I elected to return to the OGTL to complete my PhD under Dr. Lipinski's supervision. 

Research Interests

I am currently interested in creating a rAAV-mediated gene therapy treatment for individuals affected by primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). While drug therapies currently exist to lower intraocular pressure in patients with hypertension, compliance with those treatments is very poor, leading to progressive vision loss even in patients diagnosed early. My project focuses on developing a long-acting, single intervention gene therapy that permanently lowers intraocular pressure, so removing the need for daily drug administration.