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Top 12 Pioneer Awards for seminal work in gene and cell therapy selected by blue ribbon panel

New Rochelle, NY, November 25, 2013 The peer-reviewed journal Human Gene Therapy will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2014. The Journal will commemorate its silver anniversary in several ways, including publishing a series of Perspectives by top Pioneers in the field of cell and gene therapy who will be featured in the 2014 issues of the Journal.

The leadership of Human Gene Therapy commissioned a blue ribbon panel of colleagues to identify the Pioneers. Human Gene Therapy, Human Gene Therapy Methods, and Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development are published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The charge to the Committee was to identify 12 scientists who have made seminal contributions to the field in the context of a career that has consistently contributed to cell and gene therapy research for an extended period of time. The committee defines a seminal contribution as a ground breaking clinical study or a basic/technical advance that has substantially influenced the direction and/or trajectory of translational research. In some instances the Pioneer award was shared amongst several scientists whose seminal work within a programmatic area could not be fairly singled out.

"Identifying the pioneers who have made current successes in gene therapy possible was a really interesting process. The committee agreed that a mixture of virologists, technologists and clinicians had made essential contributions," says Mary Collins, PhD, Chair of the Award Selection Committee.

The Pioneer Series Award Selection Committee was chaired by Dr. Mary Collins, MRC Centre for Medical Molecular Virology, University College London, with members Alessandro Aiuti, MD, PhD, Scientific Institute HS Raffaele, HSR-TIGET; Andrew H. Baker, PhD, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences BHF Glasgow, Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Glasgow; Manuel Grez, PhD, Georg-Speyer-Haus, Molecular Virology Lab; Philippe Moullier, MD, PhD, Institut de Recherche Thrapeutique, Universit de Nantes; Paul D. Robbins, PhD, The Scripps Research Institute; Robert M. Kotin, PhD, National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health; Luk H. Vandenberghe, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary; and Xiao Xiao, PhD, School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Winners of the 12 Pioneer Series Awards are:

  • Robin R. Ali, PhD, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology;
    Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; and
    William W. Hauswirth, PhD, University of Florida College of Medicine
    Nominated for: Gene therapy for eye disorders

  • Malcolm K. Brenner, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
    Nominated for: Cancer gene therapy using gene modified T cells

  • Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; and
    Christof von Kalle, MD, PhD, National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg
    Nominated for: Vector integration and tumorigenesis

  • Marina Cavazzana, MD, PhD, Paris Descartes University; and
    Adrian J. Thrasher, MD, PhD, UCL Institute of Child Health
    Nominated for: Basic and clinical gene therapy for immunodeficiency disorders

  • Ronald G. Crystal, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
    Nominated for: Adenoviral vectors/role in translation of gene therapy to clinic

  • Zelig Eshhar, PhD, Department of Immunology, The Weizmann Institute of Science; and
    Carl H. June, MD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
    Nominated for: CARs for cancer gene therapy/lentiviral gene therapy clinical trials

    Joseph C. Glorioso III, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
    Nominated for: Development of HSV as a vector for gene therapy

  • Katherine A. High, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia;
    Amit C. Nathwani, PhD, UCL Cancer Institute;
    Andrew M. Davidoff, MD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; and
    Arthur W. Nienhuis, MD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    Nominated for: Basic and clinical gene therapy for haemophilia

  • A. Dusty Miller, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington; and
    Richard C. Mulligan, PhD, Harvard Gene Therapy Initiative, Harvard Institute of Medicine
    Nominated for: Retroviral vectors

  • Luigi M. Naldini, MD, PhD, San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy
    Nominated for: Basic and clinical lentiviral vector development and translational gene therapy

  • R. Jude Samulski, PhD, Gene Therapy Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Nominated for: Basic AAV vector technology

  • James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Gene Therapy Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
    Nominated for: Basic and clinical AAV vector development


Contact: Jennifer Quigley
914-740-2100 x2149
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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