How Your Tax Dollars Save Lives: Gene Therapy

October 31, 2011

Discovery Magazine

Gene therapy research led by Carl June, MD, director of Translational Research and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Abramson Cancer Center; David Porter, MD, director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation; Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, the F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology; and Albert Maguire, MD, associate professor of Ophthalmology, is mentioned in a Discover magazine blog post chronicling progress in the field since the 1950s. The article hails the Penn Medicine investigators' work using gene therapy for a congenital vision condition as bringing "sight to the blind" and research using modified T cells to treat leukemia as "one of the most talked-about cancer discoveries of the year." The blog post is part of a series of articles aimed at showing the great value of public funding of basic science at a time when Congress is considering deep cuts to agencies like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. These gene therapy techniques were, the article notes, "not brought to us from above by Prometheus -- it all rests on a mountain of basic science research, most of it publicly funded." Read More

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