European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy

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The European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) is a non-profit organisation for educational and scientific purposes. The aim of ESGCT is to promote fundamental and clinical research in gene therapy, cell therapy, and genetic vaccines by facilitating education, the exchange of information and technology and by serving as a professional adviser to stakeholder communities and regulatory bodies in Europe.

History[edit]

ESGCT was founded in January 1992 as the European Working Group on Human Gene Transfer and Therapy (EWGT)[1]. The Society was re-named the European Society of Gene Therapy (ESGT) in 1998[2]. In 2007, the Society's name was changed again to ESGCT to better reflect that the fields of gene and cell therapy can not be readily separated from one another. In 2017 ESGCT is celebrating its 25th anniversary at the Annual Congress in Berlin[3][4].

Mission[edit]

ESGCT seeks to support scientists and clinicians working in the fields of gene and cell therapy and to promote awareness and understanding of gene and cell therapy and the vast amount of related research in Europe[5][6]. For the past 25 years, the society has seen many developments in gene and cell therapy. The development of new and improved delivery vectors and advances in genome engineering have opened up new possibilities, while the knowledge gained through clinical trials and long-term follow up of patients has contributed not only to the fields of gene and cell therapy, but also to the wider medical and life sciences. With these developments, more potential applications of gene and cell therapy and more elegant and life-changing treatments than ever before are within our grasp. With these possibilities come challenges both for the field and the wider society as treatments need to make the transition from lab bench to patient bedside and ethical questions need to be answered. Through its activities, ESGCT seeks to stimulate further exchange of scientific knowledge and expertise, promote collaboration between and within clinics, academic research and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Furthermore, ESGCT is committed to the training and support of young investigators entering the field and to facilitating an informed dialogue between the scientific community, policy makers and society as a whole.

Activities[edit]

ESGCT organises an Annual Congress, which brings together scientists working in the fields of gene and cell therapy from throughout Europe and beyond [ref: website]. The Congress is typically held in October or November in a major European city. The Congress is a platform for highlighting the latest research and techniques through the scientific sessions, which include keynote lectures, invited speakers, selected speakers, poster sessions and exhibitions. Furthermore, the Congress is an opportunity to develop relationships and collaborations. The public day, where key concepts in gene and cell therapy along with the latest research are presented in the local language to a general audience, is an integral part of the Congress. The Congress may be organised solely by ESGCT, but is often organised in collaboration with a national society for gene and cell therapy in Europe, for example the German Society for Gene Therapy DG-GT in 2017, or with closely related scientific societies, such as the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) in 2016[7]. Since 2016, ESGCT also organises an annual Spring School. This meeting is aimed at students and young investigators who are new to the field of gene and cell therapy. The Spring School aims to provide an intensive training course and the opportunity to interact with current and future leaders in the field. Recently, ESGCT has started initiatives to engage its members and the wider community, including patients and members of the public. These initiatives include a heatmap that shows the location and details of gene and cell therapy research in Europe, blogs written by the society's members and news items accessible to non-specialists available on the ESGCT website.

Board and Presidents[edit]

The Board of ESGCT consists of 10 eminent scientists working in the fields of gene and/or cell therapy. Furthermore, one or two graduate students may be co-opted, non-voting, members of the Board. The presidency of ESGCT normally runs for 2 years. Presidents are elected at the Annual General Meeting that takes place at the Annual Congress. The following people have been elected President of the Society[1][8][9][10][11]

  • 1992 - 1996 Claudio Bordignon
  • 1996 - 1998 Olivier Danos
  • 1998 - 2004 Bernd Gänsbacher
  • 2004 - 2006 David Klatzmann
  • 2006 - 2008 George Dickson
  • 2008 - 2010 Thierry VandenDriessche
  • 2010 - 2012 Seppo Ylä-Herttuala
  • 2012 - 2014 Luigi Naldini
  • 2014 - 2016 Nathalie Cartier
  • 2016 - 2018 Robin Ali

Congresses[edit]

The Annual Congress of the ESGCT take place in a different location in Europe every year to reflect the international character of the society. Since the first congress in 1993, Congresses have taken place in

  • 1993: Baveno
  • 1994: London
  • 1995: Barcelona
  • 1996: Leiden
  • 1997: Milan
  • 1998: Jerusalem
  • 1999: Munich
  • 2000: Stockholm
  • 2001: Antalya
  • 2002: Antibes
  • 2003: Edinburgh
  • 2004: Tempere
  • 2005: Prague
  • 2006: Athens
  • 2007: Rotterdam
  • 2008: Bruges
  • 2009: Hannover
  • 2010: Milan
  • 2011: Brighton, joint with BSGT, now BSGCT
  • 2012: Versailles, joint with SFTCG
  • 2013: Madrid, joint with SETGyC
  • 2014: The Hague, joint with NVGCT
  • 2015: Helsinki, joint with FSGT
  • 2016: Florence, joint with the International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • 2017: Berlin, joint with DG-GT

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cohen-Haguenauer, Odile (2013-01-01). "A Historical View on the Creation of the European Society for Cell and Gene Therapy". Human Gene Therapy. 24 (1): 4–11. ISSN 1043-0342. doi:10.1089/hum.2012.2524. 
  2. ^ Axelrod, Jonathon H. (1999-01-01). "Sixth meeting of the European Working Group on Human Gene Transfer and Therapy (EWGT) Jerusalem, Israel, November 21–24, 1998". The Journal of Gene Medicine. 1 (1): 74–76. ISSN 1521-2254. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1521-2254(199901/02)1:13.0.CO;2-Z. 
  3. ^ "European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Current Congress Information". www.esgct.eu. Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  5. ^ "About ESGCT". www.esgct.eu. Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  6. ^ "President's letter". www.esgct.eu. Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  7. ^ "ESGCT and ISSCR Congress" (PDF). 
  8. ^ Müller, Stefan; Simon, Jürgen W.; Vesting, Jan W. (2012-12-06). Interdisciplinary Approaches to Gene Therapy: Legal, Ethical and Scientific Aspects. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9783642608292. 
  9. ^ "EC Grant Part C". www.weizmann.ac.il (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  10. ^ Cohen-Haguenauer, Odile (2013-05-03). The Clinibook: Clinical gene transfer state of the art. EDK Editions. ISBN 9782842542375. 
  11. ^ "Board Members". www.esgct.eu. Retrieved 2017-06-21. 

External links[edit]