People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers
525: Developing Gene Therapies for Rare Inherited Retinal Diseases - Dr. Daniel Chung
Manage episode 245158356 series 45619
Dr. Daniel Chung is the global medical strategy lead for ophthalmology at Spark Therapeutics. Spark Therapeutics concentrates on discovering, developing, and delivering gene therapy for rare diseases. Dan works in the area of ophthalmology, and he and his colleagues brought the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease to market. This therapy was created to treat an inherited retinal disease that results in blindness and is caused by variants or mutations in the RPE65 gene. When he isn’t working or traveling, Dan enjoys spending time with his family. He is also an avid photographer who loves capturing photos of nature, landscapes, and wildlife. In particular, he has really enjoyed photographing the panoramic landscapes of Monument Valley in Arizona, brown bears in Alaska, and polar bears in Northern Canada. Dan earned both his bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in family counseling from Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts. He also holds a doctorate degree in Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Afterward, Dan became a research training award fellow at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, studying retinal gene therapy, and he went on to complete his residency in ophthalmology within the Summa Health System in Ohio. Dan joined the Cleveland Clinic as a pediatric ophthalmology clinical/ocular genetics research fellow and subsequently worked as a senior investigator at the Scheie Eye Institute in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania for eleven years before joining the team at Spark Therapeutics in 2014. In this interview, Dan shares more about his personal and professional passions, as well as his research.