864-889-0519 chg@clemson.edu
Renee Cottle

Renee Cottle

Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering

Email: Rcottle@clemson.edu


Dr. Renee Cottle is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Clemson University. She received the 2021 AASLD Pinnacle Research Award and ASGCT Underrepresented Minority Fellowship Award in Gene and Cell Therapy. Dr. Cottle earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in 2015. After completing a T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Cardiovascular Research Program at the Medical University of South Carolina, she started her faculty appointment at Clemson University in August 2016. Dr. Cottle specializes in gene editing, therapy, and nonviral delivery strategies. Her research group is dedicated to overcoming technical challenges in developing new cell-based gene therapies for liver-related genetic diseases.


A significant challenge facing CRISPR-mediated gene editing therapies for inherited metabolic diseases of the liver is delivering CRISPR components into hepatocytes. Although adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) are commonly used for liver-directed gene editing, they have significant drawbacks that can affect the safety and effectiveness of therapies. Dr. Cottle’s laboratory is exploring electroporation and lipid nanoparticles as nonviral delivery methods for engineering hepatocytes ex vivo as part of cell therapy for liver diseases as a potentially safer approach than in vivo gene editing. Dr. Cottle is also investigating multiplex gene editing approaches combined with transient acetaminophen administration to select gene-edited hepatocytes in the liver after transplantation to treat familial hypercholesterolemia and other inherited metabolic diseases of the liver. Dr. Cottle’s laboratory seeks to train the next generation of researchers to develop innovative technologies and methods for therapies to improve patients’ lives.

Select publications

Ates, I., Rathbone, T., Stuart, C., Barzi, M., He, G., Major, A.M., Srinivasan, S., Farris, A.B., Bissig, K.-D. and Cottle, R.N. (2023) Ex vivo gene editing and cell therapy for hereditary tyrosinemia type 1. bioRxiv, 2023.2009.2004.555940.

Rathbone T, Ates I, Stuart C, Parker T, Cottle RN. Electroporation-mediated Delivery of Cas9 Ribonucleoproteins and mRNA into Freshly Isolated Primary Mouse Hepatocytes. J Vis Exp. 2022 Jun 2;(184). doi: 10.3791/63828. PMID: 35723482.

Rathbone T, Ates I, Fernando L, Addlestone E, Lee CM, Richards VP, Cottle RN. Electroporation-Mediated Delivery of Cas9 Ribonucleoproteins Results in High Levels of Gene Editing in Primary Hepatocytes. CRISPR J. 2022 Jun;5(3):397-409. doi: 10.1089/crispr.2021.0134. Epub 2022 Mar 2. PMID: 35238624; PMCID: PMC9233506.

Salminen AT, Allahyari Z, Gholizadeh S, McCloskey MC, Ajalik R, Cottle RN, Gaborski TR, McGrath JL. In vitro Studies of Transendothelial Migration for Biological and Drug Discovery. Front Med Technol. 2020 Nov 16;2:600616. doi: 10.3389/fmedt.2020.600616. PMID: 35047883; PMCID: PMC8757899.

Ates I, Rathbone T, Stuart C, Bridges PH, Cottle RN. Delivery Approaches for Therapeutic Genome Editing and Challenges. Genes (Basel). 2020 Sep 23;11(10):1113. doi: 10.3390/genes11101113. PMID: 32977396; PMCID: PMC7597956.