Annual Meeting 2023

Congratulations to the 2023 Annual Meeting Award Recipients!

Devin Rose - April 14, 2023

The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy is proud to announce the winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award, the Outstanding New Investigator Award, the Sonia Skarlatos Public Service Award, the Jerry Mendell Award for Translational Science, the Catalyst Award, and the Founders Award.

Outstanding Achievement Award

The Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) recognizes an ASGCT Member who has achieved a pioneering research success, specific high-impact accomplishment, or lifetime of significant contributions to the field of gene and cell therapy. It is the Society’s highest honor. The recipient is celebrated at the Annual Meeting by presenting a keynote lecture highlighting their scientific accomplishments that led to the award.

J. Keith Joung, MD, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital + Harvard Medical School

Over the past two decades, Dr. Joung and his research group have focused on development of gene editing and epigenetic editing technologies. Their work has engineered and optimized CRISPR, zinc finger, transcription activator-like effector (TALE) systems for inducing specific genetic and epigenetic alterations in living cells and organisms. In addition, they have pioneered the development of methods for assessing the genome-wide off-target effects of gene editing technologies that are now widely used in the field. Dr. Joung and his collaborators have also advanced the applications of both gene and epigenetic editing technologies for biological research and disease therapeutics.

Outstanding New Investigator Award

Winners of the Outstanding New Investigator (ONI) Award come from academia, research foundations, government, or industry, and are recognized each year based on their contributions to the field of gene and cell therapy. Each awardee will present a keynote lecture at the ASGCT Annual Meeting highlighting their scientific accomplishments that led to the Award.

Manuela Corti, PhD

University of Florida

Dr. Corti is a clinician scientist working on pioneering therapy for rare diseases like Pompe disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Friedreich’s ataxia. Dr. Corti’s research focus is on 1) Understanding the contribution of neurological impairment in neuromuscular disorders by combining behavioral, neurophysiological and imaging techniques, and 2) Developing novel therapies that improve and restore both the muscular and the neurological impairments in neuromuscular disease.

Justin Eyquem, PhD

University of California, San Francisco + Mnemo Therapeutics

During his PhD studies at the University of Paris-Diderot, Dr. Eyquem participated in the development of gene editing tools such as Meganuclease or TALEN in primary human cells and, notably, identified the genomic location for safe integration of therapeutic genes. In 2014, he joined Michel Sadelain’s lab at MSKCC and used CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer CAR T cells. He also showed how targeting CAR transgene into specific loci enhance T-cell efficacy, advance CAR immuno-biology, and facilitate T-cell manufacturing. In early 2019, Dr. Eyquem opened his lab UCSF, where he's now developing a gene editing platform to enhance CAR T and NK cell functions in hematological and solid tumors. The lab is aimed at understanding the current limitations of CAR T-cell therapy using innovative tumor models and functional genomics, and overcoming these challenges by reprogramming T cells with the use of genome editing and synthetic receptors. Photo courtesy LinkedIn.

Maksim "Max" Mamonkin, PhD

Baylor College of Medicine + March Bio

The main research interest of Dr. Mamonkin's laboratory is studying immunobiology of T-cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and creating new cell therapies for devastating diseases. They investigate molecular mechanisms regulating the activity of CAR T-cells and develop new strategies for clinical translation. In particular, the lab is utilizing protein engineering and genome editing to create T-cell therapies against T-cell malignancies (T-ALL, T-cell lymphoma) with minimal damage to normal lymphocytes. The researchers are also exploring new strategies to target pathogenic T-cells in the context of immune rejection and allo/autoimmune diseases. These therapies are being evaluated in Phase I clinical trials at BCM.

Shondra Pruett-Miller, PhD

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Dr. Pruett-Miller's research interests include genome-editing technologies, disease modeling in iPSCs, development of preclinical animal models using CRISPR-Cas9, and development of novel genome editing strategies to treat β-hemoglobinopathies. She has been an ASGCT member since 2018. Photo courtesy St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Sonia Skarlatos Public Service Award

Named for its inaugural co-recipient and tireless gene therapy advocate,the Sonia Skarlatos Public Service Award (PSA) recognizes a person or group that has consistently fostered and enhanced the field of gene and cell therapy through governmental agencies, public policy groups, public education, or non-governmental charitable organizations.

Anthony Fauci, MD

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD)

Dr. Fauci served as NIAID Director from 1984 to 2022. He oversaw an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola, Zika and COVID-19. As an HIV/AIDS researcher he was involved in the scientific effort since AIDS was recognized in 1981, conducting pivotal studies that underpin the current understanding of the disease and efforts to develop therapies and tools of prevention. Dr. Fauci made eminal contributions to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body's defenses, and  he was instrumental in developing treatments that enable people with HIV to live long and active lives. 

Jerry Mendell Award for Translational Science

Named for the first person to study viral mediated gene therapy for muscular dystrophy in humans, and the principal investigator in the study that led to the FDA approval of Zolgensma to treat SMA, the Jerry Mendell Award for Translational Science recognizes the extensive work required to bring gene and cell therapies to clinical trial. Supported by a generous grant from Dr. Suku and Ann Nagendran.

Mark Dudley, PhD

Instil Bio

Prior to Instil, Dr. Dudley led early development of T-cell therapies at Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc, and before that was on the technical R&D leadership team at Novartis. Before Novartis, Dr. Dudley spent nearly two decades at the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute, where he contributed to a diverse portfolio of experimental T-cell therapies, including TIL, TCR-T, and CAR-T products. Dr. Dudley is a recognized pioneer in adoptive cell therapy, having published seminal studies in TIL therapy for refractory melanoma patients, and the first studies of CD19 CAR-T in humans, IL-2 and IL-12 genetically engineered T cells in clinical trials, and TCR-T cells in clinical trials. Photo courtesy LinkedIn.

Bruce Levine, PhD

University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Levine is co-inventor of the first FDA approved gene therapy, Kymriah, licensed to Novartis. His first-in-human adoptive immunotherapy trials include the first use of a lentiviral vector, the first infusions of gene edited cells, and the first use of lentivirally modified cells to treat cancer. Dr. Levine is co-inventor on 30 issued U.S. patents and co-author of >200 manuscripts and book chapters with a Google Scholar citation h-index of 103. He's also a co-founder of Tmunity Therapeutics, and of Capstan Therapeutics both spinouts of the University of Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy LinkedIn.

Isabelle Rivière, PhD


Prior to recently joining Takeda, Dr. Rivière was at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she established her lab to develop novel strategies for cell and gene therapies and immunotherapies. There, she led a team that carried out pioneering work on engineered T lymphocytes and stem cells for the treatment of cancer and genetic blood disorders in animal models and clinical trials.  Over a tenure spanning over two decades, Isabelle and her team developed and advanced cell therapy candidates from preclinical stage to Phase I/II clinical trials, overseeing the manufacture of more than 500 CAR-T cell drug products for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors including the first-in-human clinical studies of CD19 CAR-T cells. In recognition of the significance of this new modality, the FDA granted in 2014 Breakthrough and Orphan Drug Designation to MSK’s CD19 CAR-T cell investigational therapy for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her lab also enabled clinical trials in patients with monogenic blood disorders (beta-thalassemia) as well as Parkinson disease based on stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons. Isabelle is a scientific co-founder of Juno Therapeutics and Mnemo Therapeutics.

Catalyst Award

NEW in 2023, the ASGCT Catalyst Award recognizes an ASGCT member or team of professionals who have had an extraordinary impact on the translation of gene and cell therapies.

Joy Cavagnaro, PhD

Access BIO

Dr. Cavagnaro is an internationally recognized expert in preclinical development and regulatory strategy with an emphasis on genetic medicines. Her career spans academia, the CRO, and biotechnology industries and government. During her tenure at CBER/FDA she was appointed to the SBRS and served as FDA’s safety topic lead and rapporteur for “ICH S6.” She was the first to advocate the “case-by-case” rational science-based approach to preclinical safety evaluation. For her contributions to the field, she has been honored to receive the Society of Toxicology’s Arnold J. Lehman Award and the American College of Toxicology’s Distinguished Scientist Award. At ASGCT, Dr. Cavagnaro is past chair of the Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Committee and the Translational Science & Product Development Committee. She was a member of the NGVL and has been a scientific member of the grants working group of CIRM since 2009.

Founders Award

Established in 2022, the ASGCT Founders Award recognizes a pioneering contributor to the gene and cell therapy field. It is among the Society’s highest honors and the recipient presents a keynote lecture highlighting their accomplishments that led to the award.

David A. Williams, MD

Boston Children’s Hospital + Harvard Medical School

David A. Williams, MD, is chief of the division of hematology/oncology, and the Leland Fikes Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. As a post-doctoral fellow he developed the use of retrovirus vectors to transduce murine hematopoietic stem cells. His basic research has focused on hematopoietic stem cell biology, including genetic diseases of the blood and specifically molecular and biochemical analysis of the interaction between hematopoietic stem cells and the bone marrow supporting environment. His laboratory has identified the molecular basis of three rare immune deficiency diseases. Dr. Williams is actively involved in gene therapy trials for hematologic, immunodeficiency, and neurological genetic diseases, and has been the investigator/sponsor of multiple human trials. He’s a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a previous editor-in-chief of Molecular Therapy and former President of the American Society of Hematology and the International Society of Experimental Hematology. Dr. Williams also served as coordinating investigator for the pivotal trial for eli-cel,™ which was approved in 2022 and is now marketed as SKYSONA.

Devin is ASGCT's communications manager.


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