Staff Profiles

Françoise Haeseleer, Ph.D.

Scientist II

Françoise Haeseleer joined the Allen Institute in 2021. She brings a broad research experience to work on the development of viral genetic tools to target distinct cell types within the mouse brain. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles where she developed mycobacterial expression vectors. During her postdoc in Krzysztof Palczewski’s lab at the University of Washington, she discovered and characterized novel enzymes involved in the regeneration of the visual pigments. She pursued her interest in studying proteins important for the normal visual function as a faculty member at the University of Washington and identified a novel subfamily of neuronal calcium-binding proteins that modulate voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels and neurotransmitter release at synaptic terminals. She developed and characterized animal model for retinal diseases. More recently, with Dr. David Russell at the University of Washington, she focused on the development of methods to improve the efficiency of AAV-mediated gene editing that could be used as a therapeutic approach to treat genetic diseases. She also worked with Dr. Larry Corey on the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies as potential HIV cures.


Research Interests

Françoise's present research interest is to contribute to the development of a high-throughput pipeline aimed at identifying AAV-based genetic tools that can be used to label distinct cell types and analyze their structure and synaptic connections in the immense brain neural network. Ultimately, these viral vectors could also be used to deliver transgenes efficiently into specific cell types to treat genetic brain disorders. 


  • Molecular biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology

Research Programs:

  • Viral Genetic Tools
  • Molecular Genetics