Luigi Naldini, San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Italy

Azim Surani

Luigi Naldini, M.D., Ph.D., is 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, Milan, Italy. He has pioneered the development and applications of lentiviral vectors for gene transfer, which have become one of the most widely used tool in biomedical research and, upon recently entering clinical testing, are providing a long sought hope of cure for several currently untreatable and otherwise deadly human diseases. Since then he has continued to investigate new strategies to overcome the major hurdles to safe and effective gene transfer, translate then into new therapeutic strategies for genetic disease and cancer, and allowed new insights into hematopoietic stem cell function, induction of immunological tolerance and tumor angiogenesis. His work also contributed to advance the use of engineered nucleases for targeted genome editing in cell and gene therapy. Luigi Naldini is member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), has been President of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT), has been appointed member as expert in the human gene editing field in the international scientific committee on “Human Gene Editing Study” from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), USA, and from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), USA. He was awarded an European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant (ERC) in 2009, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) in 2014 and from ESGCT in 2015, an Honorary doctorate from the Vrije University, Brussel, in 2015, the Jimenez Diaz Prize in 2016 and the Beutler Prize from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in 2017.

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