President's Message—June 2018

Michele Calos, M.D. - June 11, 2018

Thank you to each and every one of the 3,474 people who traveled to Chicago, Illinois to attend our 21st Annual Meeting last month! Congratulations to Dr. Helen Heslop, Dr. Dave Schaffer, the Program Committee, abstract reviewers, and each of 30 standing and scientific committees who contributed to the scientific and educational content at the meeting. Though I am not surprised that this was a record-setting year for ASGCT, I am thrilled by just how much we have grown!

In one year alone, on the heels of three FDA-approved gene therapies in the U.S., our attendance increased by 31 percent, abstract submissions by 28 percent, exhibitors by 40 percent, and Society membership by 20 percent. The Annual Meeting continues to be the best place to find out about the latest breakthroughs in the field, meet and connect with new people, and discuss technological developments and clinical successes.

As I assume the role of president, I am looking forward to serving our members by completing the goals established in the 2016 strategic plan and setting a course for the future of our Society. ASGCT is continuing to make trainee advancement a priority by investing in the creation of career development and travel awards. The Society has announced the availability of seven career development awards of $25,000 each and seven career travel awards of $10,000 each. The application period is open through August 1, 2018. Please visit the Grants & Awards page for more information.

The Government Relations as well as the Clinical Trials & Regulatory Affairs Committees, have been hard at work! On May 22-23, ASGCT traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with officials from 15 legislative offices. We advocated for enhanced research funding, continued investment in regulatory innovation, and adequate access to gene and cell therapies, in addition to educating lawmakers about our field. On July 16, we return to Washington to brief the House Medical Technology Caucus on gene therapy, while later this summer we will hold the first-ever ASGCT-FDA liaison meeting, providing a forum to educate and inform the Agency on advances in our field.

Lastly, I wish to remind you all to join us again April 29-May 2, 2019 in Washington, D.C. for the Society’s 22nd Annual Meeting!

22nd Annual Meeting
April 29 – May 2 | Washington D.C.