• Alex Kentsis

  • Jan 25, 2021

Webinar on COVID-19 vaccines, genome stability and human gene therapy: The past and future of gene transfer technologies for medicine

It is our pleasure to invite you to a webinar on COVID-19 vaccines, genome stability and human gene therapy on Jan 27, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada). This is a webinar for our students and fellows to learn and discuss exciting new developments in science and medicine. Similar discussions were recently received with extraordinary enthusiasm by colleagues at Yale, and I hope this webinar will not only facilitate new ideas, but also bring a bit of inspiration during this challenging time.

Recent approval of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 has thrust new technologies for gene transfer into the limelight. Recently, two landmark studies using somatic gene transfer for the treatment of sickle cell disease were recently published (by our close colleagues), foreshadowing their potential as definitive treatment of this and other diseases.

The pace of knowledge into gene transfer biology and mobile genetic elements in diverse organisms and humans is accelerating rapidly. Discoveries of eukaryotic transposons, prokaryotic CRISPR and Casposons, human transposases and retro-elements, and controversy surrounding the recent report of somatic integration of SARS-CoV-2 in human cells highlight the need to educate ourselves about this biology. This is exciting science and presents new and important directions for medicine, at least some of which seem to be approaching clinical use.

This one-hour webinar presents some of the key milestones and recent discoveries in gene transfer biology, and finishes with a panel discussion about their potential for medicine.