Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Hoda’s background is in Cellular and Molecular Biology with expertise in stem cell differentiation and optogenetics gene therapy for retinal disease. She obtained her M.Sc. from The National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB) in Tehran, Iran, where she studied neural differentiation of human retinal pigment epithelial cells. She took on a Research Assistant role in NIGEB gaining experience on establishing spontaneously immortalised human retinal pigment epithelial cell lines. In 2015, she joined the Molecular Medicine Department in the NIGEB as a PHD student working on an optogenetics tools for restoring the ON switch in retinal degenerative diseases. In 2021, She was awarded a research fellowship to complete her PhD studies in Professor Fabio Benfenati’s laboratory at the Neuroscience and Smart Material Department of the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy. On top of her PhD project, she investigated control of neural differentiation in engineered retinal epithelial cells and in stem cells too. Hoda joined Professor Maclaren’s group in 2022 working on developing combined optogenetics and CRISPR techniques for the treatment of retinal degeneration under the supervision of Dr. Jasmina Kapetanovic.