Afrooz Rashnonejad, MSc, PhD

Afrooz Rashnonejad

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Afrooz Rashnonejad, MSc, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and principal investigator in the Center for Gene Therapy at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rashnonejad is the chair of the American Society of Gene and Cell therapy (ASGCT)’s New Investigator Committee and she was twice awarded the “Excellence in Research Award” at the ASGCT annual meetings.

Dr. Rashnonejad earned her PhD in Biotechnology from Ege University, Turkey, in 2017, after completing two Master’s of Science degrees in Microbiology, and Stem Cell. During her PhD, she developed an in-utero (AKA prenatal or fetal) gene therapy for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). During this period, she also worked in Dr. Guangping Gao (her PhD co-advisor)’s lab in the Center for Gene Therapy at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as a visiting scientist to master large-scale recombinant AAV production. She then completed postdoctoral training in the lab of Scott Harper, PhD, at the Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. During her postdoc, Dr. Rashnonejad developed RNA targeting AAV.CRISPR-Cas13 and U7-snRNA mediated exon skipping to treat autosomal dominant inherited Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD).

Academic and Clinical Areas
Awards, Honors & Organizations
  • Excellence in Research Award, 23rd ASGCT Annual Meeting, USA, 2020
  • President’s Prize, 24th World Muscle Society (WMS), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2019
  • Excellence in Research Award, 22nd ASGCT Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA, 2019
  • Best Project Award, National Health Science Project Competition, UPROJECT, Turkey, 2016
  • PhD Fellowship Award, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, (TUBITAK/BIDEB-2215), 2012-2015
  • Chair, American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) New Investigator Committee, USA, 2021 - Present
  • Member, Peripheral Nerve Society (PNS), 2021 - Present
  • Chair, Research Institute Trainee Association (RITA), Nationwide Children's Hospital, 2021 - 2022
  • Member, International Fetal Transplantation and Immunology Society (IFETIS), USA, 2020 - Present
  • Member, World Muscle Society (WMS), 2019 - Present
  • Associate Member, American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), USA, 2017 - Present
  • Member, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, USA, 2017 - Present
  • Member, National Postdoctoral Association, USA, 2017 - 2022

Postdoctoral Training Nationwide Children's Hospital Date Completed: 03/31/2022
Graduate School Ege University Date Completed: 04/30/2017
Professional Experience

2022 - Present Nationwide Children's Hospital, Principal Investigator

2022 - Present The Ohio State University, Assistant Professor

2017 - 2022 Nationwide Children's Hospital, Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact Information
Center for Gene Therapy