My name is Brian Truong and I defended my PhD in September 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Gerry Lipshutz in MMP focusing on gene therapy approaches for treatment of liver metabolic disorders such as arginase deficiency using pluripotent stem cell- and RNA-encapsulated lipid nanoparticle-based modalities. I was then fortunate enough to immediately transition into an industry Scientist position where I am currently a Research Scientist II within the Nanotechnology Group at Poseida Therapeutics in San Diego, CA.

Exciting research project or any highlights in your lab?

My team focuses on developing novel nanoparticle technology to develop the next generation of non-viral gene therapy treatments for various applications.

How did you decide on your focus of research?

Mostly, I believe I fell into my field of research. The more time I spent in the gene therapy space, the more knowledge there was to build upon. Early in graduate school, I was very focused on investigating pluripotent stem cell-based therapeutics for cell therapy applications, but with Gerry, I learned more about the gene therapy field and the different modalities being used for gene therapy. Towards the end of graduate school, I was introduced to the up-and-coming lipid nanoparticle field with an industry collaborator. After seeing so much success and promise in the lipid nanoparticle field, I wanted to stay in the field and see how far this field could go which led to my position within the Nanotechnology Group at Poseida Therapeutics.

What brought you to UCLA?

I did my undergraduate research in MMP at UCLA. I had a great mentor and had the opportunity to really get to know the great quality of research and faculty in the department over the course of a couple years. In addition to the research, the family-like atmosphere of the department sealed the decision for me to continue my graduate studies there.

Do you have a personal motto?

Science is fast and is always looking forward, but don’t forget to stop and appreciate the progress already made on your project and most importantly, on yourself.

Do you have any hobbies outside of the lab?

Living in California my whole life, I have been trying to convince myself to go enjoy the outdoors more, but my hobbies mainly include lifting weights, kickboxing, and going out with friends for some good eats/drinks (pre-COVID, of course).