Ralph Hector

My research focuses on developing novel genetic therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr Ralph David Hector

Research Fellow 

Hugh Robson Building

15 George Square

Edinburgh, EH8 9XD

Contact details

 Work: (+44) 131 651 1357

 Email: ralph.hector@ed.ac.uk 

 Web: Cobb Lab Website

 Web: CDKL5 UK blog



Personal Profile

  • Developing and testing a next generation gene therapy cassette for Rett syndrome - Elternhilfe für Kinder mit RETT-Syndrom; 2018-2021.
  • Optimisation of gene therapy cassettes for neurodevelopmental disorders - SIDB; 2017-2019.
  • Loulou Junior Fellowship - Loulou Foundation; 2017.
  • Genetic therapies for CDKL5 disorder - CDKL5 UK; 2016-2017.
  • Board member, British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy 2018 -.
  • Professional Advisory Board, Reverse Rett - 2018 -.
  • Glasgow Crucible - 2017.
  • Chancellor’s Fund, University of Glasgow - 2016.
  • New Initiatives Award, University of Glasgow - 2016.
  • Learning and Teaching Development Award, University of Glasgow - 2016.
  • International Exchange Award, Royal Society of Edinburgh - 2009.


My research focuses on developing novel genetic therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders. Rett syndrome and CDKL5 deficiency are rare X-linked neurological disorders which severely affect the brain development of affected children, causing a wide range of phenotypes including motor impairments, breathing abnormalities and seizures. I use gene therapy and RNA trans-splicing approaches to target the root cause of these disorders, replacing or repairing the affected gene. As a geneticist, I’m interested in gene regulation and understanding how genetic variants affecting patient populations can help the rational design of novel genetic therapies.

Selected publications

CDKL5 variants: Improving our understanding of a rare neurologic disorder. (2017) Hector RD, Kalscheuer VM, Hennig F, Leonard H, Downs H, Clarke A, Benke TA, Armstrong J, Pineda M, Bailey MES, Cobb SR. Neurology Genetics.

Radically truncated MeCP2 rescues Rett syndrome-like neurological defects. (2017) Tillotson R, Selfridge J, Koerner MV, Gadalla KKE, Guy J, De Sousa D, Hector RD, Cobb SR, Bird A. Nature.

Development of a Novel AAV Gene Therapy Cassette with Improved Safety Features and Efficacy in a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome. (2017) Gadalla KKE, Vudhironarit T, Hector RD, Sinnett S, Bahey NG, Bailey MES, Gray SJ, Cobb SR. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev.

Improved MECP2 Gene Therapy Extends the Survival of MeCP2-Null Mice without Apparent Toxicity after Intracisternal Delivery. (2017) Sinnett SE, Hector RD, Gadalla KKE, Heindel C, Chen D, Zaric V, Bailey MES, Cobb SR, Gray SJ. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev.

Characterisation of Cdkl5 transcript isoforms in rat. (2017) Hector RD, Dando O, Ritakari TE, Kind PC, Bailey MES, Cobb SR. Gene.

Characterisation of CDKL5 Transcript Isoforms in Human and Mouse. (2016) Hector RD, Dando O, Landsberger N, KIlstrup-Nielsen C, Kind PC, Bailey MES, Cobb SR. PLoS One.

Dr Hecktor's Bibliography