About Shannon E Boye
Dr. Shannon E. Boye received her B.S. in marine biology with a minor in chemistry from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2001. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2006. Her thesis work involved developing viral vectors for the treatment of retinal disease, specifically GUCY2D Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA1). Following a postdoctoral fellowship and research assistant professorship under Dr. William Hauswirth, Dr. Boye was appointed as tenure track Assistant Professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Ophthalmology (2012). In 2016, she received tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. In 2020, she transferred to the Department of Pediatrics where she is now Associate Chief of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics.
Dr. Boye’s memberships in professional societies include the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT). She currently serves as PI, Co-PI or Co-Investigator on several federally as well as privately funded grants and is actively involved in the University of Florida’s teaching mission. She is actively engaged in community outreach and is a highly sought after speaker at patient-oriented conferences. Her real passion is interfacing with those affected by the diseases she studies and educating these individuals about treatment options and ongoing research to develop future treatments. For her efforts, she is the three-time recipient of the Exemplary Teacher Award from UF’s College of Medicine. She has authored over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, multiple textbook chapters, is actively involved in grant and manuscript review, and is the recipient of several major awards including the ARVO Foundation/Merck Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award in Gene Therapy and Eye Disease, the Foundation Fighting Blindness Board of Director’s Award, a UF Term Professorship, and the Gund Harrington Scholar Award for excellence in gene therapy research.
When she is not at work, Dr. Boye still spends most of her time in the ‘Wet Lab’ (our nerdy boat name) with her husband and two young children.
The focus of my research is developing viral vector-based gene therapies for the treatment of inherited ocular disease. My current focus areas are:
1. to develop AAV-based gene therapy approaches for delivery of genes to the outer retina (notably foveal cones) 2. to develop an Adeno associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy for treatment of autosomal recessive GUCY2D-Leber congenital amaurosis-1 (LCA1) 3. to develop dual AAV vector platforms that are capable of delivering large transgenes (> 5kb) 4. to develop a AAV-CRISPR/Cas9-based therapies for dominant inherited retinal disease 5. to develop AAV-based gene therapy approaches for delivery of genes to the trabecular meshwork to address treatments for primary open angle glaucoma
I have extensive experience characterizing animal models of inherited retinal disease, developing novel AAV vectors via both rational design and directed evolution, and testing these vectors for their ability to deliver genes to animal models of retinal disease. The work my team conducted over the last 15 years established that gene replacement restores retinal function/visually guided behavior, and preserves retinal structure over the long term in models of autosomal recessive LCA1. As a result, the FDA approved our initiation of PhaseI/II trials to treat patients afflicted with this devastating form of blindness (clinical trials began in fall 2019). I have three awarded patents, and eight pending patents emanating from my research program and am actively funded by the NIH, private foundations, and pharma. I am the recipient of several major awards including the Foundation Fighting Blindness’s Board of Director’s Award, the Gund Harrington Scholar Award, the ARVO Foundation/Merck Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award, and the ARVO/Pfizer Carl Camras Translational Research Award. Since 2010, I have given over 60 invited lectures both within and outside the USA. I have served as a member of study sections both for the NIH and the Department of Defense. I was the recipient of the NIH’s Loan Repayment Award, currently serve as an LRP ambassador and serve on study sections to review new proposals to this grant mechanism. I perform grant review for various other national and international foundations, serve on the editorial advisory board for multiple journals and perform ad hoc peer review for many more. I have participated in workshops including the NIH’s Office of Science Policy/Office of Biotechnology Activities “Gene Therapy: Charting a Future Course”. Outside of my research, I am actively involved in the teaching mission of the Department of Ophthalmology and College of Medicine at the University of Florida and am passionate about outreach/education outside the University. I routinely provide lab tours for visually impaired patients, host foundation meetings and educate patients about ongoing research being conducted to address treatments for their conditions/provide them with information on how to find out more about their disease.