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James Wilson, M.D., Ph.D. receives Pioneer Award

New Rochelle, NY, April 30, 2014James M. Wilson, MD, PhD (University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia) has dedicated his research and medical career to developing gene therapy and the vectors needed to deliver genes into cells for the treatment and cure of inherited diseases. In recognition of his leadership and accomplishments, Dr. Wilson has received a Pioneer Award, bestowed by a blue ribbon panel*, from Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Human Gene Therapy is commemorating its 25th anniversary by honoring the leading 12 Pioneers in the field of cell and gene therapy and publishing a Pioneer Perspective by each of the award recipients. The Perspective by Dr. Wilson is available on the Human Gene Therapy website.

In his essay "Genetic Diseases, Immunology, Viruses, and Gene Therapy," Dr. Wilson traces the path, motivating factors, and mentors and colleagues that led him from his early work identifying the mutations responsible for the devastating childhood disease Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS) to the exploration of novel techniques and molecular tools for transferring therapeutic genes first into animals and then into humans. Since joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania more than 20 years ago, much of his research has focused on the development of adenoviral and adeno-associated viral vectors as vehicles for gene delivery.

Noting that the commercialization of gene therapy is still in its infancy, Dr. Wilson states that "We are entering a remarkable era of gene therapy research that will accelerate its development and lead to a number of commercial products across a spectrum of diseases." His laboratory has made seminal contributions to the basic biology of vectors and the development of current generation vector technologies that have enabled others to successfully move into the clinic.

"Dr. Wilson strongly deserves this accolade as an HGT pioneer of gene and cell therapy," says Deputy Editor George Dickson, BSc, PhD, University of London, Surrey. "His unparalleled contributions to the adenoviral and AAV vector fields over more than 25 years have been profound and seminal. Vectors from Dr. Wilson's lab at the University of Pennsylvania have been distributed around the globe, and are bearing fruit in viral vaccine and viral gene therapy areas spanning a plethora of disease targets."


Contact: Vicki Cohn
914-740-2100 x2156
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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