In February 2022, Laurie Kerkhof started her PhD in the NeuroD group and the Dutch Center for RNA Therapeutics as part of the PSIDER consortium. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and a master’s degree in Neuroscience and Cognition at Utrecht University, she worked at Charles River Laboratories in Leiden as an Associate Scientist for a year. Here, she gained experience with RNA therapies for Huntington’s disease.
During her PhD project Laurie will be involved in the development of new RNA therapeutics for spinal cerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). She will also look into the development of different cell models to test these RNA therapeutics. Different cell models including induced pluripotent stem cells and organoids will be used. In these disease models, various disease-relevant outcome measures will be developed and used for the final screening of the RNA therapeutics.