Annual Meeting 2023

New Annual Meeting Networking Events: Success Stories

Ali Kujawski, MPH - August 01, 2023

The 2023 Annual Meeting featured new opportunities for diverse groups to come together. See what attendees said about the Women in Gene and Cell Therapy Reception, Patient Advocate Connection Luncheon, and Global Gathering Breakfast.  

The ASGCT Outreach team and committees hosted three new networking opportunities at the Annual Meeting this past May – including a breakfast, lunch, and reception –  tailored to different types of attendees. Learn about the success of these events and plan to join us next year as we hope to offer them again!  

Women in Gene and Cell Therapy Reception 

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The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee hosted this reception to celebrate and inspire the contributions of women in gene and cell therapy. Hundreds of women in various areas and levels of their careers eagerly joined us for a lovely gathering where they fostered meaningful connections and bonded over the unique barriers women in the field face. Two women ASGCT leaders shared  this during the event:  

“I was extremely privileged and excited to be a part of this event to see the representation and be inspired by all the women in the field. The event was about celebrating and honoring that we are women and amazing scientists, while, also acknowledging our battles and supporting each other and our impact in cell and gene therapy in the past, present, and in the future! Looking forward to the event next year!” 
Sandhya Sharma, Baylor College of Medicine   
“Women represent less than 50% of ASGCT membership and yet volunteer their time in numbers exceeding their representation in the membership, with more than 50% of the standing committees chaired by women. The event was an excellent opportunity for early-career women to connect with those of us further in our career. I look forward to maintaining contact with the new connections I made at the event and for future ASGCT-sponsored events honoring women’s contributions to the field in general and to the Society in particular.”
Maritza McIntyre, PhD 

Patient Advocate Connection Luncheon  

To kick off the first day of the meeting, this luncheon gathered a community of stakeholders interested in networking with patient advocates, including those from nonprofits and industry, individuals with a rare disease, caregivers, and those with scientific or clinical expertise. Patient advocates could also take advantage of our Advocate Advisors Program, where volunteers from ASGCT’s Patient Outreach Committee acted as a resource and answered questions. Here are takeaways from a couple o committee members:  

“Patient advocates realize early on the importance of connections – linking to others on a similar journey. Whether the connections are focused on sharing experiences, ideas, or simply, “I understand,” they are important to the path forward. This event provided the opportunity for patient advocates, many first-timers, to meet other attendees and enhance their ASGCT Annual meeting experience – and beyond.” 
Sharon King, Patient Advocate, and Caregiver  
"ASGCT annual meetings are simultaneously inspirational, exhilarating, and overwhelming, especially for our patient advocate partners who may be attending a meeting like this for the very first time. I had the amazing fortune to connect with a patient advocate for a disorder that falls within my area of expertise who happen to live in my state. Because of this luncheon, I had the opportunity to orient this advocate to the meeting, advise on sessions which might be beneficial to their disorder, direct them to the Patient Education content online, and even connect them with my clinic for future collaboration."
Dr. Kimberly Goodspeed, UT Southwestern 

Global Gathering Breakfast 

Our international attendees came together over coffee and breakfast before the morning sessions and began to build new relationships and discuss similar challenges in gene therapy research and development they may be facing. Here are takeaways from the Global Outreach Committee Chair:  

“The global outreach committee symposium was a great success. We had a panel of eminent scientists who described their experience to advance gene and cell therapy in low resource settings. These are primarily driven by International partnerships in countries around the world like Thailand, Singapore, India, and Brazil. In addition, the breakfast gathering prior to the symposium offered a chance to interact with young minds from around the world, understand their aspirations and also connect with faculty colleagues. It was heartening to note the momentum in the field of gene and cell therapy in various LMICs and we at ASGCT will strive to help them in any way we can.” 
Jay Rao, PhD, Indian Institute of Technology 


If you are interested in supporting these special events at the 2024 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD, please contact Ali Kujawski, ASGCT's Senior Outreach Manager, at  

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