Luk Vandenberghe, a gene therapy researcher at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and at Harvard Medical School, is spearheading an effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that uses an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector to deliver genetic instructions for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into human cells. AAV vectors are used in the two commercial gene therapies in the US and in hundreds of experimental gene therapies worldwide. Vandenberghe, who specializes in developing new AAV vectors, cofounded the gene therapy start-ups Akouos and Affinia Therapeutics.

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