Hear Kathy High, MD, on the Giants of Gene Therapy Podcast

Yuliya Klochan, MSJ - December 20, 2022

Kathy High, MD, shared her personal and scientific journey, from hemophilia to retinal disease, during her one-on-one conversation with ASGCT President Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD, in the second episode of ASGCT’s Giants of Gene Therapy.

Kathy High, MD is the president of therapeutics at AskBio. Before that, she was the co-founder, president, and head of research and development at Spark Therapeutics. She’s published extensively in the cell and gene therapy (CGT) space and received many highly prestigious awards for her work. Dr. High is also a past president of ASGCT. 

Dr. High was a lead researcher behind Luxturna, the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a rare form of inherited vision loss, while at Spark. But she didn’t start out her career in retinal disease treatments—Dr. High’s journey began in hematology when the cell and gene therapy (CGT) field was new (and before PCR machines were available). 

High-profile adverse effect cases around developing gene therapy treatments, followed by a shutdown of many trials in the field, inspired Dr. High to join Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, in testing a treatment for inherited retinal disease. Their trials led to an FDA approval for Luxturna in 2017. 

During her one-on-one conversation with ASGCT President Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD, Dr. High spoke about her inspiration behind studying chemistry, going to medical school (and temporarily dropping out), early gene therapy trial experiences, the future of CGT, advice for new investigators, and more. 

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Yuliya Klochan, MSJ, is ASGCT's senior communications manager

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