Cary Harding, MD


Cary Harding Primary Faculty

Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road
Mail Code: L103
Portland, OR  97239
Office: 503 494-7608
Fax: 503 494-6886


Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) affect as many as 1:1500 people with age of onset varying from birth to adulthood.  For many of these disroders, contemporary medical therapy is less than satisfactory.  Gene therapy is a promising new approach to the treatment of IEM.  The focus of our laboratory is the development of liver- or muscle-directed gene transfer for the treatment of IEM.  Most of our efforts are concentrated upon gene transfer into the Pahenu2 mouse, a model of phenylketonuria which is a common human IEM.  We are exploring a variety of viral (predominately adeno-associated virus (AAV)) and DNA-based gene transfer technologies to introduce the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) cDNA into phenylketonuric mice.  Additionally, we are investigating hepatocyte and bone marrow stem cell transplants as a possible therapy for PKU.

Understanding the pathophysiology of IEM is a critical requirement for the design and execution of any treatment protocol, including gene therapy.  In anticipation of improved future therapies, we continue to investigate the abnormal physiology and biochemisty involved in a variety of human IEM.  Currently, disorders of fatty acid oxidation are of central interest in our research program.


Harding CO, Gillingham MB, Hamman K, Clark H, Goebel Daghighi E, Bird A, Koeberl DD. Complete correction of hyperphenylalaninemia following liver-directed, recombinant AAV2/8 vector-mediated gene therapy in murine phenylketonuria. Gene Therapy, 13:457-462, 2006.

Isackson PJ, Bujnicki H, Harding CO, Vladutiu GD. Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency caused by alternative splicing due to a novel intronic mutation in the AMPD1 gene. Molec Genet Metab, 86:250-256, 2005.

Gillingham MB, Weleber RG, Neuringer M, Connor WE, Mills M, Van Calcar S, Verhoeve J,Wolff J, Harding CO. Effect of optimal dietary therapy upon visual function inchildren with long chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCHAD) and trifunctional protein deficiency. Mol Genet Metab, 86:124-133, 2005.

Hamman K, Clark H, Montini E, Al-Dhalimy M, Grompe M, Finegold M, Harding CO. Low therapeutic threshold for hepatocyte replacement in murine phenylketonuria. Mol Therapy, 12:337-344, 2005.

Harding CO, Neff M, Wild K, Jones K, Elzaouk L, Thony B, Milstien S. The fate of intravenously administered tetrahydrobiopterin and its implications for heterologous gene therapy of phenylketonuria. Mol Genet Metab, 81:52-7, 2004.