Rowan Flynn

Career Development Fellow | StemBANCC |

Rowan Flynn recently joined the University of Oxford as a career development fellow to focus upon the development of gene editing techniques for use in stem cells. He is particularly interested in footprintless viral based methods of altering genomic sequence. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle, where his research focused on developing a treatment for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), which is caused by mutations in the gene encoding for collagen VII (COL7A1), the main component of anchoring fibrils that bind the epidermis to the underlying dermis. His approach was to produce skin grafts composed of genetically corrected patient-derived keratinocytes suitable for transplant.

Prior to that, Rowan held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Cardiology, also at the University of Washington where he demonstrated the efficacy of vascular gene therapy to treat atherosclerosis in a rabbit model of the disease. He showed that localized delivery of the therapeutic transgene apoA-I to the vasculature using helper-dependent adenovirus prevented the formation of lesions and also reduced inflammation.

For his PhD research project, at University College Cork in Ireland, he designed and constructed zinc finger nucleases to target a site close to the most common CFTR mutation, ΔF508. He successfully demonstrated repair of this mutation in cystic fibrosis patient cells after delivering these ZFNs with a suitable donor sequence.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Dodsworth, B.T., Flynn, R., Cowley, S.A. (2015) The current state of naïve human pluripotency. Stem Cells 33, 3181-6.

Flynn, R., Grundmann, A., Renz, P., Hanseler, W., James, W.S., Cowley, S.A., Moore, M.D. (2015) CRISPR-mediated genotypic and phenotypic correction of a chronic granulomatous disease mutation in human iPS cells. Exp Hematol. 43, 838-48

Du, L., Zhang, J., De Meyer, G.R.Y, Flynn R., Dichek, D.A. (2013) Improved animal models for testing gene therapy for atherosclerosis. Hum Gene Ther. 25: 106-14

Jiang, B., Du, L., Flynn, R., Dronadula, N., Zhang, J., Kim, F., Dichek, D.A. (2012) Overexpression of eNOS improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in arteries infused with helper-dependent adenovirus. Hum Gene Ther. 23; 1166-75

Lee*, C.M., Flynn*, R., Hollywood, J.A., Scallan, M.F., Harrison, P.T. (2012) Correction of the ΔF508 mutation in the CFTR gene by zinc finger nuclease homology-directed repair. BioResearch Open Access. 1, 99-108  *Joint first authors.

Flynn, R., Qian, K., Tang, C., Dronadula, N., Buckler, J.M., Jiang, B., Wen, S., Dichek, H.L., Dichek, D.A. (2011) Expression of apolipoprotein A-I in rabbit carotid endothelium protects against atherosclerosis. Mol Ther. 19: 1833-41.

Dronadula, N., Du, L., Flynn, R., Buckler, J., Kho, J., Jiang, Z., Tanaka, S., Dichek, D.A. (2011) Construction of a novel expression cassette for increasing transgene expression in vivo in endothelial cells of large blood vessels. Gene Ther. 18: 501-8.

Flynn, R., Buckler, J., Tang, C.,  Kim, F., Dichek, D.A. (2010) Helper-dependent adenoviral vectors are superior in vitro to first-generation vectors for endothelial cell-targeted gene therapy. Mol Ther. 18: 2121-9.

Hofmann, M.H., Akkoyun, A., Flynn, R., Mathewson, A., Berney, H., Sheehan, M.M. (2004). Development of PCR conditions in a silicon microreactor DNA-amplification device. International Journal of Environmental & Analytical Chemistry, 84: 821-33.

Conference Abstracts

Flynn, R., Petek, L.M., South, A.P., Miller, D.G. (2011) AAV-mediated gene correction for the treatment of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Mol Ther. 19, S49.

Hollywood, J.A., Harrison, P.T., Scallan, M.F., Flynn, R., Lee, C.M., Kaschig, K. (2011) Correction of the Delta F508 mutation in cystic fibrosis epithelial cells using ZFN homology-directed repair. Hum Gene Ther. 22, A48.

Flynn, R., Qian, K., Du, L., Buckler, J., Wen, S., Dichek, D.A. (2010) Overexpression of apoA-I in arterial endothelium using helper-dependent adenovirus reduces carotid atherosclerosis and decreases adhesion molecule expression in cholesterol-fed rabbits. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 30, e302.

Flynn, R., Buckler, J., Dichek, D.A. (2009) Helper-dependent adenoviruses expressing apolipoprotein A-I do not alter endothelial cell function in vitro: potential for vascular gene therapy. Mol Ther. 17, S350.

Lee, C.M., Flynn, R., Harrison, P.T. (2008). Towards in vivo correction of the cftr DF508 allele: design and synthesis of two zinc finger nucleases for homology-directed repair. Proc Physiol Soc. 11, C100.

Lee, C.M., Flynn, R., Harrison, P.T. (2008). Towards in vivo correction of the cftr DF508 allele: design and synthesis of a pair of ZFNs for homology-directed repair. Ir J Med Sci. 177, S383.

Lee, C.M., Flynn, R., Harrison, P.T. (2007) Cystic fibrosis gene repair: design and testing of zinc finger nucleases for homology-directed repair of the CFTR gene. Ir J Med Sci. 176, S342.

Lane, C., Ni Dhrisceoil, N., Flynn, R., Harrison, P.T. (2007) Cystic fibrosis gene repair: no more than 50% of cells in a population need a functional CFTR to maintain normal levels of Cl- efflux. Ir J Med Sci. 176, S343.

Flynn, R. and Harrison, P.T. (2006). A re-examination of the theory of internalization of P. aeruginosa by airway epithelium: A role for CFTR? Poster Communication at the European Cystic Fibrosis Society and The Physiological Society Joint Conference 2006.

Flynn, R., O’Sullivan, D., Sullivan, A., Harrison, P.  (2005).  Use of pCEP4 vector for simple and rapid establishment of stable cell-lines and long-term gene expression. J Physiol, 567P, PC165.

Book Chapters

Harrison, P.T., Flynn, R., Lee, C.M. (2009) Gene therapy and individualised medicine. In: Predictive Diagnostics and Personalized Treatment ISBN 978-1-60692-737-3 Editor: Olga Golubnitschaja. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Professional Memberships

American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 2009-Present

Physiological Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2004-2007