Dr. Kotterman is an experienced researcher with roughly 10 years of experience in virology, molecular biology and gene therapy vector discovery. She is currently a co-founder and Director of Discovery Research at 4D Molecular Therapeutics, a gene therapy company, where she oversees AAV vector discovery efforts for over 10 different tissues and therapeutic areas.
Melissa received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her Ph.D. research focused on using directed evolution to develop gene delivery vectors based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) as tools for use in both basic research and in therapeutic applications.
Specifically, she developed AAV vectors to improve gene delivery to human embryonic stem cells and adult neural stem cells. In addition, she helped to discover novel AAV variants that resist neutralization by antibodies in human sera. Melissa has co-authored over 15 patents, publications, and presentations relating to AAV gene delivery.