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Newsletter June 2009

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Conference update
- 2 - 4 September 2009, Vector Development and Gene Therapy: Lecture and Advanced Practical Course
News: Moving Gene Therapy Forward With Mobile DNA
Gene therapy is the introduction of genetic material into a patient's cells resulting in a cure or a therapeutic effect. In recent years, it has been shown that gene therapy is a promising technology to treat or even cure several fatal diseases for which there is no attractive alternative therapy. Despite the overall progress, there is still a need to develop improved and safer approaches to deliver genes into cells. Marinee Chuah, Thierry VandenDriessche, Eyayu Belay and their fellow VIB researchers at K.U. Leuven in collaboration with Zsuzsanna Iszvak and Zoltan Ivics and colleagues at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin (Germany) have now developed a new non-viral approach that overcomes some of the limitations associated with viral vectors. 11 May 2009.
News: ASGT name change
The proposal to change the name of the American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT) to the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) has recently been adopted by the membership meeting during the 2009 annual conference in San Diego. The society rationale in making this change is that the concept of gene therapy includes gene-modified cell therapy, and an inclusive name will empower the Society to expand its membership base and help foster further collaborative research to advance the use of genes and cells as medicine to treat disease.

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