Annahita Keravala, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President, AAV Platform

Annahita has been in the gene therapy field for 20 years with a strong passion for developing cutting-edge technologies in order to bring gene- or cell-based treatments to patients with debilitating diseases.

Most recently, she was Director of Novel AAV-vector Technologies at Adverum Biotech where she led the research team to discover novel capsids as well as optimize therapeutic cassettes and provide candidates for development to grow the product pipeline. Annahita was also involved in the development of both ophthalmic and rare disease programs from early research to Phase I. Being employee number 4 at the early stages of this start-up, she helped strategize the research platform and build not only the team and the lab infra-structure, but also help the company through an IPO and grow it from 4 to 80 people.

Prior to Adverum, Annahita was at Geron where she was primarily focused on regenerative medicine using human embryonic stem cells. In particular, she was involved in the development of a robust protocol to differentiate human ES cells into hepatocytes, which could be used as an in vitro surrogate to study drug toxicity and related hepatic function to aid drug development. She was not only a part of the scientific team strategizing and performing the studies, but also the liaison for tech-transfer of the process to the pharmaceutical partner.

Annahita has a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh where her dissertation project and thesis was on Gene Therapy Strategies for Rheumatoid Arthritis. She did her post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine focusing on gene therapy for hemophilia along with a few collaborative projects on adult stem cell therapies.

Annahita loves European sports-cars, hiking, and can sing along to any 80s pop and rock track.

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