Dr. Couto has over 25 years of experience in the gene therapy field, having been responsible for the pre-clinical development of numerous recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors. Her experience includes vector construction, design, and execution of proof-of-concept studies in animal models of disease, and Investigational New Drug (IND) enabling pharmacology, biodistribution, and toxicology studies. Dr. Couto’s preclinical development experience spans multiple therapeutic areas including ophthalmology, hematology, audiology, and infectious diseases. She has authored numerous non-clinical modules to support regulatory applications for gene therapies at various stages of development from pre-IND to Biologics License Applications and Marketing Authorization Applications, including Luxturna, the first gene therapy licensed in the United States for a genetic disease.
Prior to joining Atsena, Dr. Couto served as Head of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Ocular Research Lead for Spark Therapeutics. She was also Associate Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Earlier in her career, Dr. Couto held positions of increasing responsibility at several gene therapy biotechnology companies including Avigen Therapeutics and Somatix Therapy Corporation. She holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.