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Enroll in 2016 Mentorship Program

Advance your professional development with ASGCT by enrolling in the 2016 ASGCT Mentorship Program! By enrolling in the Mentorship Program, you are able to attend the Speed Networking Event at the 2016 Annual Meeting, where you can create new relationships with established scientific professionals.

To see some of the professionals participating in the 2016 Mentorship Program, expand the profiles of ASGCT Members listed below. Check back frequently for the most up-to-date list of participants.

If you are interested in participating in the program, simply email the ASGCT Executive Office (info@asgct.org) for more information.

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Jennifer E. Adair, PhD

Jennifer E. Adair, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

*Junior Investigator*

What is your current professional status?

Research Associate

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Nonprofit Research Institute

What is your scientific area of research?

Clinical translation of gene therapy for hematopoietic stem cells.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

Realizing what worked for me may help someone else find direction.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

Future research connections, advancing the field by promoting the next generation.             

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 1
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 3 
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 1
            e. Communication Style - 3

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

I am currently a research associate in the laboratory of Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, FACP at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center planning to transition to an independent research faculty position at an academic or nonprofit research institute or center within the next year. My current work focuses on translating strategies for gene therapy in hematopoietic stem cells into clinical trials including generation of preclinical data, regulatory management and conduct of Phase I and II clinical trials. My research in the lab focuses on development of more efficient and safe strategies for gene therapy with special interest in targeted gene integration and methods to improve engraftment of gene-modified blood cells in a nonmyeloablative transplant setting. I also serve as a member of the New Investigator Committee for the Society.

Click here to view Jennifer Adair's CV.

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Brian D. Brown, PhD

Brian D. Brown, PhD
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
Assistant Professor

Profile coming soon...

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David Bumcrot, PhD

David Bumcrot, PhD
Editas Medicine
*Senior Director, Molecular & Cell Biology*

(Please note that David Bumcrot is replacing Sandra Glucksman)

What is your current professional status?

Senior Director, Molecular & Cell Biology

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Biotech

What is your scientific area of research?

Therapeutic genome editing

Why do you want to be a mentor?

Scientists early in their careers have difficult decisions to make regarding their professional future.  There are many different paths to take.  I would like to offer my perspectives on a career in biotech as a very exciting choice for young scientists.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

I hope to better understand what different types of careers young scientists are thinking about.  What factors are important in making their choices?  How can my experience and point of view help others who are in the position I was 20 years ago?     

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 3
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 4
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 1
            e. Communication Style - 2

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

David Bumcrot is Senior Director of Molecular and Cell Biology at Editas Medicine where he heads research teams developing CRISPR/Cas-based therapeutics for a broad range of indications.  As one of the first employees, David has played a major role in building the organization and establishing research strategy.  Before joining Editas Medicine, David spent ten years at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals developing novel RNAi-based therapeutics for multiple indications.  As a Director of Research he played key roles in advancing an oncology product into clinical testing, as well as initiating programs in several other therapeutic areas.  Prior to Alnylam, David led research teams at Curis, Inc. and Ontogeny, Inc.  He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, and earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Click here to view David Bumcrot's CV.

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Conrad Russell Cruz, MD, PhD

Conrad Russell Cruz, MD, PhD
Children's National Health System
*Assistant Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Assistant Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Immunotherapy

Why do you want to be a mentor?

I want to be able to pay back what I received from my own mentors and help shape the careers of younger scientists.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

I want to identify potential mentees (postdocs) who will want to work with me and my group on immune cell therapies at Children's National.         

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 3
            b. Geographic Location - 3
            c. Professional Status / Success - 2
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 3
            e. Communication Style - 1

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

I am an Assistant Professor currently working on cell-based immune therapies for cancer and opportunistic infections. Currently, my group aims to use different methods of gene modification (CRISPR, viral transduction) to confer new properties to these cells --- all in the hopes of developing the best therapeutic for these difficult-to-treat diseases. 

 

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Marco L. Davila, MD, PhD

Marco L. Davila, MD, PhD
University of South Florida
*Associate Member*

What is your current professional status?

Associate Member

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Cancer Center

What is your scientific area of research?

Adoptive T cell therapy.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

I enjoy helping out folks that are going through their development as an academic researcher.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

Meet new investigators.       

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 2
            b. Geographic Location - 3
            c. Professional Status / Success - 3
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 2
            e. Communication Style - 3

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

Marco Davila enrolled in the Medical Scientist Training Program and obtained his MD and PhD degrees. His PhD was in Immunology and his work involved the regulation of mouse B cell development by recombination signal sequences. After graduating Duke, Marco went to New York City for his medical training. He completed his internal medicine training at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and medical oncology training at MSKCC. As a fellow at MSKCC, Marco worked with Michel Sadelain and Renier Brentjens of the Center for Cell Engineering and Leukemia Service at MSKCC. He developed a pre-clinical mouse model of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) that validated it as a target for T cells genetically modified with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). This led to the development of a clinical protocol for adults with relapsed/refractory B-ALL, which he served as the principal investigator. He has now moved to the Moffitt Cancer Center where he continues to manage patients with hematologic malignancies, but also has established his own laboratory that will focus on the development of new CARs as well as pre-clinical studies to understand CAR T cell biology.

Click here to view Marco Davila's CV.

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David L. DiGiusto, PhD

David L. DiGiusto, PhD
Stanford Healthcare
*Executive Director*

Profile coming soon...

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John F. Engelhardt, PhD

John F. Engelhardt, PhD
University of Iowa
*Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Cystic Fibrosis and gene therapy.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

To help the next generation of scientists.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

To learn how to be a better mentor.           

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 2
            b. Geographic Location - 3
            c. Professional Status / Success - 2
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 2
            e. Communication Style - 2

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

John F. Engelhardt is the Director of the Center for Gene Therapy, Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. He currently holds the Roy J. Carver Chair of Molecular Medicine and has been Director of the Center for Gene Therapy at the University of Iowa for the past 16 years. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Iowa State University in 1985, and his doctorate in human genetics from Johns Hopkins University in 1990. Research in the Engelhardt laboratory focuses on the following areas: 1) the study of the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease and diabetes, 2) molecular mechanisms of redox-mediated signal transduction in response to pro-inflammatory signals, 3) the study of airway stem cells and submucosal gland development, 4) the development of animal models for CF lung disease with a focus on the ferret, and 5) the development of gene therapies for CF with a focus on recombinant adeno-associated virus and its transduction biology.

Click here to view John Engelhardt's CV.

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Katherine J. Excoffon, PhD

Katherine J. Excoffon, PhD
Wright State University
*Associate Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Virology, cell biology, and gene therapy

Why do you want to be a mentor?

The mentoring I have received has been pivotal to my advancement and success. Key advice at just the right time can have an important impact on career trajectory.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

To be inspired by inspiring others.     

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 2
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 3
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 2
            e. Communication Style - 2

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

I am a scientist, educator, mother, and wife. I am primarily driven by curiosity.  Everything always becomes an experiment. During my PhD I discovered the alternative isoform of lipoprotein lipase that ended up in Glybera. During my post doc years, in collaboration with the Schaffer group, AAV evolution led to the identification of an AAV that could efficiently infect human airway and may enter clinical trials soon. During my post doc I also improved our understanding of the adenovirus receptor, CAR. Now as a tenured university faculty, my group has discovered molecules that can up and downregulate CAR and adenovirus infection. At the same time I balance classes as large as 170 students and have a happy household. The secret is a supportive family and fantastic group of mentors.

Click here to view Katherine Excoffon's CV.

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Jonathan D. Finn, PhD

Jonathan D. Finn, PhD
Intellia Therapeutics
*Director of Production and Analytics*

 

What is your current professional status?

Director of Production and Analytics

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Bio-industry

What is your scientific area of research?

In vivo delivery of CRISPR/Cas9.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

Over the years I have had the opportunity to train with many excellent researchers and I would like to have the opportunity to give back to the research community.  I also find teaching a very rewarding experience.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

Teaching is a reward in itself. I believe that helping others is one of the most satisfying things one can do, and I hope to help young scientists learn from the experiences that I have had (both positive and negative)throughout my research career.

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 2
b. Geographic Location - 4
c. Professional Status / Success - 2
d. Compatibility of Career Path - 2
e. Communication Style - 2

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

I am a scientist that has been working in the gene therapy field for over 15 years. I believe that gene therapy is the future of medicine and that this new paradigm has the potential to transform patients lives. I have worked both with a wide range of gene therapy delivery systems (LNP, adenoviral, lentiviral, AAV, and exosomes), as well as numerous disease applications (cancer, hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation). I have had extensive experience in both academia (UBC, McMaster University, CHOP) and in industry (Protiva Biotherapeutics, Arthrogen, Intellia Therapeutics). This broad range of experience gives me a unique perspective and has proven valuable when faced with difficult challenges.

Click here to view Jonathan Finn's CV.

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Paloma H. Giangrande, PhD

Paloma H. Giangrande, PhD
University of Iowa
*Junior Investigator*

What is your current professional status?

Associate Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

RNA therapeutics and cell-targeted therapies for cancer and cardiovascular disease

Why do you want to be a mentor?

I view mentoring as the most gratifying activity I perform on a daily basis.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

  Hoping to gain as mentor: To inspire mentees to identify their passion for research and pursue a career in scientific research.

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 1
b. Geographic Location - 5
c. Professional Status / Success - 3
d. Compatibility of Career Path - 2
e. Communication Style - 3

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

Dr. Giangrande obtained her PhD in 1999 at Duke University in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. In 2000, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Nevins where she worked on elucidating the differential roles of the E2F cell cycle regulators. After a four year postdoc, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Sullenger where she pioneered the use of RNA aptamers for targeted delivery of siRNAs. In 2007 Dr. Giangrande was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa. Dr. Giangrande's research interests include developing RNA-based therapeutics to modulate cellular pathways underlying pathological cell proliferation in the setting of cancer and cardiovascular disease. A main interest is selecting RNA aptamers to receptors expressed on the surface of target-cells with SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential Enrichment) for the purpose of 1) modulating receptor function and/or 2) delivering therapeutic molecules (e.g. siRNAs, antimirs, drugs) into specific cell types.

Click here to view Paloma Giangrande's Biosketch.

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Eli Gilboa, PhD

Eli Gilboa, PhD
University of Miami Medical School
*Professor of Immunology & Microbiology*

What is your current professional status?

Professor of Immunology & Microbiology

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Cancer Immunotherapy using oligonucleotide aptamer-targeted immune modulatory drugs.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

To advise junior investigators in the challenges and opportunities of a biomedical research career, and discuss the potential of cell-targeted RNA therapeutics in Medicine.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

To foster innovative, high-impact, albeit high-risk, research, specifically in the field of cell-targeted RNA therapeutics.    

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 3
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 3 
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 1
            e. Communication Style - 3

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

I received my PhD from the Weizmann Institute in Israel and postdoctoral training at MIT, Boston. I am currently at the University of Miami Medical School. My lab is using oligonucleotide aptamers to modulate tumor immunity with the goal of reduced toxicity by in vivo targeting using aptamers as targeting ligands. We have introduced new concepts in cancer immunotherapy such as inducing neoantigens in disseminated tumor lesions, promoting immune memory, or targeting immune modulation to the tumor lesion. My lab has also made contributions to aptamer development using next generation sequencing, and demonstrated their exceptional efficiency to target siRNAs and aptamers to circulating immune cells and tumor lesions, respectively. New programs exploiting the unique features of the aptamer platform focus on reversing immune dysfunction in cancer and HIV infection, "coating" tumor cells and HIV virus with endogenous antibodies, and developing next generation aptamer-targeted RNA therapeutics.

Click here to view Eli Gilboa's CV.

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Scott O. Harper, PhD

Scott O. Harper, PhD
Ohio State University & Nationwide Children's Hospital

What is your current professional status?

Associate Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

RNAi therapy; Muscular Dystrophy

Why do you want to be a mentor?

I benefitted from outstanding mentoring throughout my career, and I see it as an opportunity to pay it forward.  Also, I have many occasions to interact with trainees at my own institution and I think it will be fun and interesting to meet some from other locales.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

Broader perspective on issues affecting trainees nationwide that may apply to my own students and post-docs.

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 4
            b. Geographic Location - 3
            c. Professional Status / Success - 2
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 1
            e. Communication Style - 4

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

My name is Scott Harper.  I am currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University and a PI in the Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  My lab is focused on RNAi therapy for dominant myopathies, and we have a separate arm dedicated to more basic biological pursuits.  I did my grad school training at the University of Michigan from 1996-2002 (with a brief stop in Seattle at UW), followed by a post-doc at the University of Iowa from 2002-2007.  My wife and I had two children during my grad school years and a third when I was a post-doc, so I am familiar with the struggles of raising and uprooting a young family while pursuing a career in academic science.

Click here to view Scott Harper's CV.

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Roland W. Herzog, PhD

Roland W. Herzog, PhD
University of Florida
*Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Hemophilia; AAV vectors; Immunology

Why do you want to be a mentor?

I enjoy seeing young scientists advance their careers and would like to help them along.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

Hopefully building lasting relationships with the next generation of gene therapy researchers.

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 3
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 2
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 2
            e. Communication Style - 2

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

Roland W. Herzog, PhD, is a Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology within the Division of Cellular and Molecular Therapy at the University of Florida. He received a PhD in Microbiology from Auburn University in 1996. After completing postdoctoral training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, he was appointed assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000, and joined the University of Florida’s gene therapy program in 2005. He currently serves as ASGCT’s treasurer, editor-in-chief of Molecular Therapy Methods & Clinical Development, and University of Florida Research Foundation Professor. Dr. Herzog has been working on gene therapy for hemophilia using AAV vectors and on immune tolerance to coagulation factors for the past 20 years. He received Outstanding New Investigator and Distinguished Service awards from ASGCT and served as chair of the immunology and education committees in the past.

Click here to view Roland Herzog's CV.

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Brian K. Kaspar, PhD

Brian K. Kaspar, PhD
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
*Associate Professor*

Profile coming soon...

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Jane Lebkowski, PhD

Jane Lebkowski, PhD
Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc.
President, Research and Development

Profile coming soon...

Click here to view Jane Lebkowski's CV.

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Maria P. Limberis, PhD

Maria P. Limberis, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
*Research Associate Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

Maria is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), and is also the Senior Director of the Animal Models Core of the Gene Therapy Program (GTP) at UPenn. She conducted doctoral studies at the University of Adelaide, Australia in gene therapy for cystic fibrosis (CF) airway disease and post-doctoral research studies in Dr. James M. Wilson’s laboratory at UPenn. Her current research is focused on the development of AAV vectors for prophylaxis against airborne infectious diseases as well as the development of gene therapy for CF. Maria is an active member of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and is a board member of the Hellenic Medical Society of Philadelphia. Maria serves on the New Investigator Committee and the Respiratory Tract Gene & Cell Therapy Committee of the ASGCT.

Click here to view Maria Limberis's CV.

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Leszek Lisowski, PhD, MBA

Leszek Lisowski, PhD, MBA
Children's Medical Research Institute
*Associate Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Associate Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Liver gene therapy and AAV.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

My career was shaped in a significant way by great mentors I was lucky to have from my early years. I want to give the same opportunity to a new generation of scientists.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

I would like to meet and potentially establish ongoing relations with young and upcoming researchers. I can imagine such interactions may lead to securing great students/postdocs for my own group.    

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 1
            b. Geographic Location - 3
            c. Professional Status / Success - 2
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 3
            e. Communication Style - 2

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

I recently relocated from the Salk Institute in San Diego to Australia to take on a dual role as a manager of a Vector and Genome Engineering Facility and as a Translation Vectorology Group Leader (Associate Professor) at Children's Medical Research Institute. My research concentrates on vector based gene therapy to treat a number of liver disorders (both inborn and acquired, such as hemophilia and HCV) and on development of novel AAV vectors for gene delivery and endonuclease-free genome editing.

Click here to view Leszek Lisowski's CV.

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Dongfang Liu, PhD

Dongfang Liu, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
*Assistant Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Assistant Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Immunology

Why do you want to be a mentor?

To help the development of future scholars.  

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 1
            b. Geographic Location - 1
            c. Professional Status / Success - 1
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 1
            e. Communication Style - 1

Click here to view Dongfang Liu's CV.

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Carolyn Lutzko, PhD

Carolyn Lutzko, PhD
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

*Associate Professor of Pediatrics*

Profile coming soon...

Click here to view Carolyn Lutzko's CV.

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Phillip B. Maples, PhD

Phillip B. Maples, PhD
Laurus Bio
*Executive Director*

What is your current professional status?

Executive Director, Laurus Bio

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Biotech Industry

What is your scientific area of research?

Cell and Gene-based Product Development, Manufacturing, Facility Design/Build, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs and Quality Systems

Why do you want to be a mentor?

As a means of developing both the quality and perception of our profession by informing younger professionals of the myriad opportunities ahead.  And they need to be scientific communicators, too!

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

A sense of shared vision for the future potential and paths forward for our technical contributions in terms of patient and societal benefits, with the understanding of the daunting ethical and moral responsibilities to do the small things right (not just the big things)         

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 2
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 3 
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 3
            e. Communication Style - 4

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

Versatile professional operating, Laurus Bio, as well as being a member of the Klyo Collaborative. 30+ years of international biotechnology.  Involved in development of pioneering cell and gene therapies including: CGD gene therapy; Autologous HBV core-specific T cells for Chronic HBV; GVAX Autologous NSCLC cell-based vaccine; Lucanix NSCLC cell-based vaccine.  Most recently at Gradalis: GNE Gene Tx for HIBM; TAG, Xenograft TAG and FANGTM Autologous Cancer Vaccines; and bifunctional RNAi therapies.  Involved in design/build or remodel of 10+ cGMP cell and gene therapy manufacturing facilities around globe; invented or co-created new manufacturing systems and processing components.  Co-created an ISO 9000 compliant quality system for a business division in Baxter Healthcare, allowing it to CE Mark and rapidly bring to market new medical devices and components.  47 publications and 9 issued U.S. patents and foreign counterparts.  Significant global experience preparing reg  ulatory submissions and developing productive collaborative international partnerships. 

Click here to view Phillip Maple's CV.

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Kevin V. Morris, PhD

Kevin V. Morris, PhD
The City of Hope
*Professor and Associate Director*

What is your current professional status?

Professor and Associate Director, Center for Gene Therapy at the City of Hope

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Non-coding RNA biology and therapeutics.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

I was invited to serve as a mentor and I also have funding to support new students and post-docs and this may be a good forum to meet prospective folks to work with.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

This forum may serve as a conduit to recruiting young motivated students and/or post-docs to my lab at the City of Hope. It may also lead to future collaborations.         

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 3
            b. Geographic Location - 3
            c. Professional Status / Success - 3 
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 3
            e. Communication Style - 4

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

Kevin V. Morris is an American born scientist and a graduate of Humboldt State University (B.S. 1996) and the University of California Davis (Ph.D., 2001). He was also a post-doctoral fellow at University of California San Diego and the Beckman Research Institute at the City of Hope before starting his laboratory in 2005 at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. He expanded his science in 2012 to the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The Morris lab has spent several years uncovering the role of RNA in controlling transcriptional and epigenetic states of gene expression in human cells. His research at UNSW focuses primarily on understanding basic non-coding RNA biology in the human cell while his work carried out at Scripps is focused on developing genetic based therapeutic approaches to controlling HIV and other viruses.

Click here to view Kevin Morris's CV.

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Renata M. Stipecke, PhD

Renata M. Stripecke, PhD
Hannover Medical School
*Associate Professor*

 

What is your current professional status?

Associate Professor

Head of the Lymphatic Cell Therapy Laboratory from the Excellence Cluster REBIRTH

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

 Hematology, Cancer, Chronic Infections, Immunology.

Why do you want to be a mentor?

I have supervised post-docs, pre-docs, master students and medical students and I enjoy doing it.  My teaching activities in our international PhD programs focus on immunology and recombinant vector Systems, which are also main topics of research.  I would like to contribute to “new minds” growing in science. In addition, scientific careers are sometimes not “linear”, and everyone experience some bumps here and there. It was very important for me to have mentors to give me perspectives regarding what was important to reach my academic goals along with a balanced life.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

Networking with PhD students and post-docs in my field for collaborations and maybe recruitments. Internationalization, scientific mobility and career development are important academic topics, which I support.  It is great to keep in touch with the academic generations of the future!

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 1
            b. Geographic Location - 2
            c. Professional Status / Success - 2
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 1
            e. Communication Style - 1

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

I am quite cosmopolitan, as I was born and grew up in Brazil, where I got my BS and MS in Genetics (UNICAMP), then moved to Germany for my PhD in molecular biology (EMBL), then to the US for postdoctoral training and assistant professor positions in gene and immune therapy (USC, UCLA), and finally as an associate professor to Germany (MHH). My expertise is on reprogramming cells of the immune system using recombinant vectors in order to accelerate the immune reconstitution after cancer, transplantation or infections. My main focus is on dendritic cells, due to their central role in orchestration of adaptive cellular and humoral responses. My group developed new technologies to genetically reprogram DC precursors that differentiate into potent DCs. We have expertise with multicistronic lentiviral vectors expressing combinations of cytokines and antigens. This technology was adapted to GMP-compliant production of "individualized" gene modified cell vaccine  for future clinical use (accelerated immune reconstitution after stem cell transplantation). We are developing new modalities of humanized mice to study hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, cancer development and viral infections.

Click here to view Renata Stripecke's CV.

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Luk H. Vandenberghe, PhD

Luk H. Vandenberghe, PhD
Schepens Eye Research Institute & Massachusettes Eye and Ear Infirmaru, Harvard Medical School

What is your current professional status?

Principal Investigator, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic

What is your scientific area of research?

Vector development, Ocular Gene Therapy

Why do you want to be a mentor?

 I chose to be a mentor to pass on my experiences and guide new investigators to an independent and successful career. New blood and creativity will ultimately strengthen gene therapy as a field.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

 I hope to meet passionate people with fresh ideas

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 2
            b. Geographic Location - 4
            c. Professional Status / Success - 3
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 3
            e. Communication Style - 1

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

My laboratory focuses on building our gene therapy as a platform therapeutic in ophthalmology. We therefore identify, study and aim to overcome translational hurdles for this to become reality. Briefly, we are working on novel vector development, immunology of ocular gene transfer, animal modeling, and translation of several retinal gene transfer approaches. We believe that scientific efforts in this ambitious field need to go hand in hand with active research of the policy and economical aspects of our ambition to bring gene therapy to the clinic.

Click here to view Luk Vandenberghe's Biosketch.

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Nicolas Wein, PhD

Nicolas Wein, PhD
Nationwide Children's Hospital
*Postdoctoral Fellow/Assistant Professor*

What is your current professional status?

Postdoctoral fellowship transitioning to Assistant Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

RNA and DNA editing; Muscular Dystrophy

Why do you want to be a mentor?

To share my recent experience about how to find job in academia or in industry and what are the necessary steps. I spent a lot of time and effort to understand this transitioning process and I would like to share this recent experience with trainees.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

To help young trainees to promote the next generation of scientists, but also to develop future research connections.     

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 3
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 2
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 4
            e. Communication Style - 1

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

My main interests lie in Human Genetics and Gene Therapy. In particular, my research focuses on the pathophysiology and development of therapies for neuromuscular disorders. As a postdoctoral fellow at OSU/Nationwide Children's Hospital and as a graduate student at the University of Aix-Marseille with Dr. Nicolas Levy, I developed a relevant gene transfer and exon-skipping therapies for two neuromuscular disorders and acquired expertise in genome editing via the novel CRISPR/Cas9 system. I am currently a postdoctoral scientist but will be transitioning to an Assistant Professor position this July. My lab will focus on RNA and DNA editing and gene transfer as therapies for neuromuscular disorders, but it will also include more fundamental research on muscle function.

Click here to view Nicolas Wein's CV.

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Andy Wilber, PhD

Andy Wilber, PhD
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
*Junior Investigator*

What is your current professional status?

Assistant Professor

What is your work setting (i.e. academic institution, government organization (i.e. FDA, NIH, etc.), bio-industry/pharmaceutical company, etc.)

Academic Institution

What is your scientific area of research?

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Transfer for Severe Hemoglobin Disorders and Anti-tumor Immunity

Why do you want to be a mentor?

Having recently transitioned from a post-doctoral fellow to Assistant Professor, I hope to use my experience to help associate members of the society do the same. I hope to assist in the development of a CV, biosketch, and research plan toward this goal.

As a mentor, what are you hoping to gain from this experience?

It would be gratifying to assist at least one associate member of the society in achieving a position in academic research.

How important are the following in the selection of a mentee: (1 – 5 scale, 1 = most important, 5 = least important)

            a. Compatibility of Scientific Specialties - 1
            b. Geographic Location - 5
            c. Professional Status / Success - 5
            d. Compatibility of Career Path - 1

Summarized in a brief paragraph (150 words or less), please provide a biography that describes who you are and what you do in the field of gene and/or cell therapy.

Dr. Wilber is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology and Director of the Public Health Laboratory Sciences graduate program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He is a member of American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and the American Society for Hematology and serves as an academic editor for PLoS On be and a reviewer for Blood, BMC Biology, Stem Cells and PLoS journals. His research efforts are focused on achieving therapeutic levels of the anti-sickling globin in erythroid cells for the treatment sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia and identifying the role of soble tumor-derived factors on trans-differentiation of natural killer cells.

Click here to view Andy Wilber's Biosketch.