Message from the Co-Chairs

Accelerating Adoption: Proof of Concept to Standard of Care

As co-chairs for this upcoming edition, we wish to extend an invitation for you to attend the next annual meeting of the International Society of Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT). We are proud to represent the diversity and richness of European cultural and scientific backgrounds. Working together and with our colleagues on the Organizing Committee and ISCT Head Office, we are committed to prepare an unforgettable conference that will mix scientific excellence with pragmatism in bringing innovations to the market and to patients. This is not to forget friendship among peers in our global community.

The field has witnessed tremendous changes in just a few years: while academia thrives with preclinical and early clinical developments, the number of industry-manufactured cellular therapies or gene therapies has sharply increased. The approval of the first two CAR-T Cells in the USA, then in Europe and in other countries may herald the first worldwide commercial successes that will expectedly be followed by others. Progress in our understanding of many biological systems including stem cells and immune cells, but also in our mastering of such biotechnologies as tissue and cell engineering, organoids, and iPSC offer endless possibilities to develop new treatments for many categories of diseases and augment our capacities to treat severe or debilitating conditions. Ethical development of these complex and costly treatments is primarily based on the quality of the underlying science and proper clinical evaluation; these two key features differentiate the development of innovative cell or gene therapies from unproven therapies that our community – as represented by ISCT – is committed to relentlessly oppose.

The next ISCT Annual Meeting represents a unique opportunity to gather with all interested stakeholders that share a vision of the future in human medicine in which cell and gene therapies will add to the portfolio of potentially curative therapies. The overarching theme of the conference is accelerating adoption of these innovative therapies – from proof of concept to standard of care. State-of-the-art basic and translational science will be covered during the Plenary and Breakout Sessions, while specific topics will be discussed during Hot Topic Sessions. At the initiative of current ISCT President, the Presidential Plenary session will open with a presentation by Nobel laureate: Professor Mario Capecchi.

The meeting will be held in Paris (Lutetia Parisorium in the Romanian age), May 27-30, 2020. At springtime, the French capital will offer you a unique opportunity to combine first class science with a taste of French cuisine, a glimpse at some of the most well known museums in the world, or simply a walk along charming and romantic streets and places. We urge you not to miss this occasion, and expect to welcome you soon for this fantastic event.

Jaap Jan Boelens, MD, PhD
ISCT 2021 Co-Chair
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, United States

Karen Nichols, Esq.
ISCT 2021 Co-Chair
Vertex Therapeutics
Cambridge, United States

George Muschler, MD
ISCT 2021 Co-Chair
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, United States

Julie Allickson, PhD
Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine
Winston-Salem, United States

Lizette Caballero, BS, MT(ASCP)
Janssen Research & Development
San Francisco, United States

Dominic Clarke, PhD
HemaCare Corporation
Durham, United States

Patrick Hanley, PhD
Children’s National Hospital
Washington, United States

Sai-Kiang Lim, PhD
Institute of Molevular & Cell Biology
Singapore, Singapore

Giuseppe Orlando, MD, PhD
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, United States

Patricia Rocco, MD, PhD
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Joseph Schwartz, MD, MPH
New York Presbyterian Hospital
New York, United States

Sandeep Soni, MD
CRISPR Therapeutics
San Francisco, United States

Jacques Galipeau, MD
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, United States

Bruce Levine, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, United States

Daniel Weiss, MD, PhD
University of Vermont School of Medicine
Burlington, United States