Hear Luigi Naldini, MD, PhD, on the Giants of Gene Therapy Podcast

Yuliya Klochan, MSJ - May 30, 2023

Luigi Naldini, MD, PhD, the pioneer of lentivirus gene therapy, discussed his intercontinental career and the future of gene editing and use of lentiviral vectors. ASGCT President Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD, hosted the one-on-one conversation in the seventh episode of ASGCT’s Giants of Gene Therapy.

Dr. Naldini is a Professor of Cell and Tissue Biology and of Gene and Cell Therapy at the San Raffaele University School of Medicine and Scientific Director of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy in Milan, Italy. 

Dr. Naldini has been a pioneer in lentivirus gene therapy for the past 25 years, having described the use of HIV-derived hybrid lentiviral vectors for gene therapy early in his career. His lab also pioneered the use of engineered zinc-finger nucleases for human genome editing. 

Today, Dr. Naldini investigates strategies to improve gene transfer safety and effectiveness for genetic disease and cancer. He’s contributed to our knowledge of hematopoietic stem cell function, induction of immunological tolerance, and tumor angiogenesis.

Dr. Naldini has been a mentor to many young scientists and a prolific researcher with more than 280 publications. He has founded three biotech startups. He’s spoken in more than 150 congresses worldwide. And he’s received numerous global awards, including the Grand Officer of the Order for Merit of the Italian Republic (one of the highest-ranking honors in Italy), the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in Switzerland, and Outstanding Achievement Awards from both the American and European Societies of Gene and Cell Therapy. 

During his one-on-one conversation with ASGCT President Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD, Dr. Naldini spoke about the successes and limitations of lentiviral vectors, and what he sees as the future of gene therapy and gene editing. He also shared his scientific journey in Italy and the United States.

Dr. Naldini has been an ASGCT member since 2000, the year he also attended the 3rd ASGCT Annual Meeting. He’s served on the Society’s board and committees.

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Music by: Steven O'Brien

"Making Progress"

(Used for free under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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

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