Year 1

The Annual Gene Therapy Symposium for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases was organized to ensure that investigators and trainees in regenerative medicine and gene/cell-based therapy that do not typically have an opportunity to interact in other venues are able to meet and discuss common areas of research interest, network, and form new collaborations. The intent is to advance current research approaches in the regenerative medicine field, and to overcome obstacles that limit new treatments from becoming a clinical reality. The focus topic of the 13th Annual Gene Therapy Symposium was “Genomic Editing”.

The opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas between investigators and trainees in divergent, yet relevant, fields remains a major challenge because of the sheer size of many national and international meetings. Each discipline is relatively insulated, which significantly diminishes the likelihood for new ideas and approaches for regenerative medicine to be developed through the synergy that occurs when investigators and trainees from different disciplines meet and discuss their research. Thus, the Annual Symposium was designed to focus on presentations of unpublished works-in-progress, cutting edge technologies, and speakers that address key issues of current interest, and from divergent fields of study. The expectations for the 13th Annual Symposium were clearly met both by the very high quality presentations, the timeliness of the topic, and the positive feedback from attendees.