Finding cures for children's genetic diseases

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    TVG Unit

Our People

Leszek Lisowski PhD, MBA, Group Leader, Translational Vectorology Group (TVG); Manager, Vector and Genome Engineering Facility (VGEF).​
Leszek [pronounced: Leshek] is a world vectorology expert with over 15 years of experience in developing and manufacturing viral vectors for human gene therapy. He was born in a small town in Western Poland.  After high school, he received a prestigious Academic Excellence and Leadership Scholarship and enrolled at the University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT, USA where he earned his B.S. in Biology. He subsequently joined a doctorate program at Cornell University in New York. He earned his PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the laboratory of Prof. Michel Sadelain, MD PhD at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), for his work on lentiviral vectors for the treatment of β-thalassemia and assessment of vector toxicity and the risk of insertional oncogenesis.
He then joined the laboratory of Prof. Mark A. Kay, MD PhD at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where Leszek performed his postdoctoral training, studying AAV vectors’ evolution via multispecies interbreeding and retargeting of rAAV. He was subsequently recruited by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA where he ran the Gene Transfer, Targeting and Therapeutics Facility (GT3). While in La Jolla, he earned his MBA degree from UC San Diego Rady School of Management and co-founded LogicBio Therapeutics, a gene therapy company. 
In October 2015, Leszek was recruited by CMRI  to establish and run the Vector and Genome Engineering Facility (VGEF) and to establish his independent research program, the Translational Vectorology Group (TVG). In addition to being Group Leader at CMRI, Leszek is a conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and holds the title of Honorary Faculty at University College London (UCL), London, UK. In December 2016, Leszek was awarded the prestigious grant “Kosciuszko” from the Polish Department of Defence and was appointed the title of Visiting Group Leader at the Military Institute of Hygiene & Epidemiology (MIHE), Biological Threats Identification and Countermeasure Centre in Pulawy, Poland, where he established and heads the Department of Cell Transfection and Vectorology.

d: +61 2 8865 2818 | Skype: CMRI_VGEF
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Current Members
Marti Cabanes Creus, MS. Exchange PhD  Student
Marti was born and raised in Barcelona, Catalonia, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the University Autonoma of Barcelona. Then he pursued and received a M.Sc in Applied Biotechnology from Uppsala University (Sweden). He completed his Master’s Thesis under the supervision of Dr. Lisowski in the Gene Transfer, Targeting and Therapeutics Core at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. He is currently the first PhD candidate participating in the newly formed CMRI-UCL Bridge Program and is working on a joint project between the group of Professor Adrian Thrasher (University College of London, Institute of Child Health, London, UK and Dr. Leszek Lisowski, CMRI.


Adrian Westhaus, MSc. Exchange PhD Student, University College London
Adrian completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Bremen (Thesis in Dringen lab, Neurobiochemistry). Pursuing a future career in science, he enrolled in the master’s program in Molecular Bioscience and Major Infectious Disease at the University of Heidelberg. As part of this research-based MSc program, he performed several research rotations including the CMRI-laboratories of Prof Ian Alexander (GTRU) and Leszek Lisowski (TVG). After completing his master’s degree with a research project in the lab of Prof Dirk Grimm (University of Heidelberg), he chose to return to CMRI as part of the UCL-CMRI PhD Bridge Programme (see information for Students on the left). His main supervisor at the collaborating lab is Prof Adrian Thrasher the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Section Molecular and Cellular Immunology.

His PhD project focusses on AAV capsid development, aiming to build a universal platform for diversification and selection of novel variants. Furthermore, he will investigate the expansion of novel AAV-mediated gene editing technologies into more clinically relevant models.


Jason Ward, PhD Student, University of Sydney
Jay earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Newcastle and recently joined the Translational Vectorology Group (TVG) at CMRI as an Honours student. Prior to completing his Biotechnology degree Jay work in healthcare and has been a Registered Nurse for the past 12 years.

Jay has a general interest in the use of gene technology for the treatment of human disease.
His project is related to development of new AAV platform aiming at improving vector manufacturing.


Patrick Wilmott, Honours Student, UTS

Patrick is undertaking his honours at the CMRI after completing a combined BA in International Studies (Major in Germany) and BS in Medical and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Technology, Sydney. Under the supervision of Dr. Lisowski, Patrick hopes to investigate and improve current platforms for the development of clinical AAV vectors.


Former Members
Jill Muhling, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Kate Van Brussel, Honours Student, University of Sydney
Elijah Lake, Honours Student, University of Sydney
Wojciech Kuban, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow