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President's Message

   

   Dear ASGCT Members,

   The recent 18th ASGCT Annual Meeting was a success by many measures: attendance was
   the highest we’ve had since 2008, sponsorship was at a record level, and the quality of the
   science superb. While we would like to take credit for the great success of the Annual Meeting,
   the truth is that most of the credit is due simply to the burgeoning field. We are seeing great
   clinical successes with renewed interest from the investment community and our industry
   partners.

   While the field and our Society continue to grow, the ASGCT Board of Directors is acutely      
   aware of our need to capitalize on this growth. The rapid evolution of our field in the last two years alone requires us to rethink our approach to our educational initiatives, our relationships with our key constituents, and the services we provide our membership. With these issues in mind, the ASGCT Board of Directors is holding a strategic retreat this month.

Our strategic retreat will explore the question of our core identity as a Society: is gene transfer and biology our defining
identity or are we now primarily a therapeutic Society? With the answer to this question as our backdrop, we’ll then
reevaluate our relationships with a number of our key constituents, including students, fellows, industry, foundations, patients,
and the media. We’ll provide regular updates on the process and outcome of our strategic discussions.

Meanwhile, ASGCT has also taken on a key ethical issue that arose in recent months. ASGCT, in partnership with our
international sister societies, drafted a position statement on the application of genome editing for use in human germ-line
modification. The position statement will be published in the August issue of Molecular Therapy and available on the ASGCT
website. As follow up to the position statement, we are planning a symposium on the issue of germline modification that will
take place with our 19th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in May 2016. More details to come on this initiative.

We encourage you to get involved with ASGCT to help inform our programming and strategic decisions. Please ‘raise your hand’ to volunteer through the online Get Involved section of the ASGCT website. 

Thank you again for your involvement in the Society and we look forward to working with you in the year ahead.

With best wishes for a pleasant summer,

Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD
ASGCT President

Mary Dean, JD, CAE
ASGCT Executive Director

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