Katja Pekrun

Katja Pekrun, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Consortium: CTAR









Where are you from originally, and where did you go to school?

I was born and raised in the southern-west part of Germany (right by the border to France) and received my undergraduate degree as well as my Masters and PhD from the University of Goettingen, Germany. Goettingen is a small college town right in the center of Germany. I first came to the US in 1997 to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in Berkeley, CA.

►What is your current position?

I am a Senior Research Scientist.

►Why did you decide to become a researcher?

When I was in 9th and 10th grade I had an excellent biology teacher who inspired me to become a scientist. Back in the 90s I also became interested in the then still deadly disease AIDS, so I started my career in the field of HIV research. I have worked in virology for most of my professional life.

►What is the “Big Picture” of what you study?

Our aim is to develop safe gene therapies for many diseases.

►What is your favorite aspect of your research?

My work is very versatile, it hardly ever gets boring. I also like that the work I do has the potential to be applicable to the clinic. Moreover, I love working with viruses, they are just fascinating.

► What do you hope to achieve with your research?

I hope that my research will benefit human mankind at one point.

►What groups are you involved with?

ASGCT (American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy)
Hiking and European Expats Meet-Up groups

►When not in the lab what are your favorite hobbies/activities?

I love hiking, especially with my friend’s super-energetic black lab. I also like to go on road trips to Southern California with my two boys. Parties and listening to music are also high on my list.



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