Our professionals

Dr. Carmen Unzu

Principal Investigator of the Gene Therapy for Inherited Hearing Loss and AAV Engineering group. Interest in development of AAV-mediated gene therapy for inborn rare diseases

Be part of: Cima Universidad de Navarra

Professional career

  • MS in Biochemistry at the University of Navarra (2008). PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Navarra with focus on the development of non-integrative viral vectors for in vivo liver-directed gene therapy (2012). 
  • Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and EPFL (Switzerland) 2013-2017.
  • Senior Scientist at Harvard Medical School/Mass Eye and Ear (Boston, USA) (2017-2019)
  • Associate Director of Preclinical Research at Apic Bio (Cambridge, USA) (2019-2021)


Preclinical development of AAV-mediated gene therapy in academia and industry settings.
One of them, rAAV5.PBGD, an investigational drug for the treatment of Acute Intermittent Porphyria, was tested in a Phase I/II clinical trial (NCT02082860)

Development of a novel method to generate hepatic progenitors from adult hepatocytes for cell therapy.

Co-inventor in 4 patents.

Participation in more than 15 competitive research project funded by both public and private funds such as the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Carlos III Health Institute, the European Union, the Louis-Jeantet Foundation, Novartis Health Foundation or Pfizer Inc.


AAV vectorology to reduce vector immunogencity.

Study of the mechanisms of AAV-related adverse effects in clinical trials.

Development of AAV-based precision gene medicine.


As an educator

Supervisor at the Biomedical Investigation Master of the University of Navarra.

Co-supervisor of 4 PhD students and 3 master students. 

Invited speaker in 5 courses/symposia during the past 5 years.

Member of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Patient Outreach Committee.

Imagen de un icono azul con un documento certificado.


  • Outstanding PhD of the year of the Faculty of Sciences 2012.
  • IEF Marie Curie Postdoctoral fellowship 2014.
  • Ramon y Cajal Investigator 2022.
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Latest scientific publications