Generational Achievements in Gene and Cell Therapy Honored at ASGCT 15th Annual Meeting

The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy is pleased to honor Dr. David Williams, MD, as the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Society’s 15th Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 19th.

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Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) May 04, 2012

Pioneering researcher recognized for scientific achievements in gene and cell therapy

The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy is pleased to honor Dr. David Williams, MD, as the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Society’s 15th Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 19th. This award recognizes an ASGCT Active Member who has achieved a pioneering research success, a specific high impact accomplishment, or a lifetime of significant scientific contributions to the fields of gene and cell therapy.

Williams is the Chief of Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston and Associate Chairman of Pediatric Oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, as well the Leland Fikes Professor at Harvard Medical School. Williams and colleagues produced a seminal paper in the field in the early 1980’s, showing for the first time that retrovirus vectors could efficiently resist genes into murine hematopoietic stem cells. This highly cited paper provided a foundation for future human gene tetropytoids. This discovery led to the development of the reagent Retronectin that has become a base component in present day clinical trials and research incorporating the expansion of gene transfer to HSC.

Dr. Williams and his staff are also credited with the further definition of the Rho GTPase pathway and its importance in hematopoietic stem cell engraftment and immunity. Through these discoveries, mutations that result in several immunologic disorders in children have been defined at the molecular level for the first time.

Dr. Williams has also served as member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) as well as the NIH Gene Therapy Safety Assessment Board. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Therapy for five years.

“David A. Williams is an outstanding physician scientist who has made numerous contributions to basic and translational research and is an international leader in his field,” said Dr. R. Scott Mclvor, PhD with the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Minnesota.

Outstanding New Investigators Honored

The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy is pleased to announce the four recipients of the Outstanding New Investigator Awards during the ASGCT 15th Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 19th.

The Outstanding New Investigator Awards are given to several newly independent researchers who have contributed heavily to the field of gene and cell therapy. Each recipient is recognized for conducting original research in basic science, technology development or clinical translation.

Each recipient has been nominated by two or more members within the Society based on their work within the field. In order to be considered for the award, each nominee must be ten or fewer years out from their first full-time assistant professor or equivalent position.

“It is important to recognize the accomplishments of these and other young investigators, as they hold the future of the society in their hands”. Said Dr. Katherine Ponder.

The 2012 Recipients of Outstanding New Investigators Award include:

Nicola Brunetti-Pierri, MD – Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine: Developed more efficient strategies for hepatocyte transduction

Marco Passini, PhD – Genzyme (a Sanofi Company): Uncovered axonal transport capabilities of select recombinant AAV serotypes.

Theresa Reineke, PhD – University of Minnesota: Started the gene transfer polymer company, Glycofect specializing in the market of gene transfer agents

Ben Tenoever, PhD – Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Developed an RNAi type technology for vaccine production using microRNA in a similar manner

The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) is a professional nonprofit medical and scientific organization dedicated to the understanding, development and application of genetic and cellular therapies and the promotion of professional and public education in the field. For more information on ASGCT, visit its website, http://www.asgct.org.


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