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Fengfeng Bei, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Neurosurgery
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School


We are interested in gene therapy of the central nervous system (CNS). We are studying adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) as a gene therapy vector for treating diseases of the brain, spinal cord and the eye. One major focus of our research is on engineering safe and effective AAV vectors for overcoming gene delivery barriers.

Using such AAVs as a tool, we are currently trying to regenerate and repair damaged nerve fibers in the CNS, and to develop treatments for malignant brain tumors as well as rare genetic diseases that affect the CNS.


  • Yao Y, Wang J, Liu Y, Qu Y, Wang, K, Zhang Y, Chang Y, Yang Z, Wan J, Liu J, Nakashima H, Lawler SE, Chiocca EA, Cho C, Bei F (2022). Variants of the adeno-associated virus serotype 9 with enhanced penetration of the blood–brain barrier in rodents and primates. Nature Biomedical Engineering. doi: 10.1038/s41551-022-00938-7.
  • Norsworthy M*, Bei F*†, Kawaguchi R, Wang C, Wang Q, Li Y, Tran N, Brommer B, Zhang Y, Sanes JR, Coppola G†, He Z† (2017). Sox11 expression promotes regeneration of some retinal ganglion cell types but kills others. Neuron 94(6) 1112-1120. (* co-first author, † co-senior author)
  • Bei F, Lee HH, Liu X, Gunner G, Jin H, Ma L, Wang C, Hou L, Hensch TK, Frank E, Sanes JR, Chen C, Fagiolini M, He Z (2016). Restoration of visual function by enhancing conduction in regenerated axons. Cell 164(1-2):219-232.
  • Duan X*, Qiao M*, Bei F*, Kim IJ, He Z, Sanes JR (2015). Subtype-specific regeneration of retinal ganglion cells following axotomy: effects of osteopontin and mTOR signaling. Neuron 85(6):1244-1256. (* co-first author)
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