XXI. ANNUAL MEETING
German Society for Gene Therapy

Dear members and friends of the German Society for Gene Therapy,
 
On behalf of the German Society for Gene Therapy, I would like to welcome you to our 21st Annual Meeting at the Faculty Center for Pharmacy of the University of Vienna. For the first time, this meeting takes place outside Germany, in a city well known for hosting numerous international meetings and congresses. The University of Vienna, founded in March 1365 and now celebrating its 650-year anniversary, is the Alma Mater for many famous scientists in chemistry, biology and medicine, who have contributed to lay the foundation of modern life sciences including gene therapy.
 
Gene therapy has evolved from its initial aura of being just another highly complex therapeutic strategy to a vital option for successful treatment of otherwise incurable diseases. After EU wide approval of Glybera, an adeno associated virus based drug for the treatment of  lipoprotein lipase deficiency, several candidates are now in advanced clinical trials or close to clinical approval. Nevertheless, there are huge efforts ongoing to further improve treatment strategies. This includes the development of novel gene vectors for targeted delivery and controlled transgene expression. Ongoing safety studies are investigating the vector-host interaction, and cell based strategies aim at treating monogenetic or malignant diseases. Considering all this, this meeting covers the areas of targeted vector development, molecular imaging to study their in vivo behavior and the application of virus- or cell based anticancer strategies. Further on, advanced clinical studies on the treatment of cancer and monogenetic diseases will be presented, which might soon develop into approved clinical drugs.
 
The field of gene therapy covers numerous areas of research urging the ‘gene therapist’ to possess broad knowledge in the field of life sciences. For this purpose, we have organized an educational session on Thursday morning with experienced scientists giving lectures in the fields of vector development and cell based therapies.
  
The meeting is opened on Thursday after lunch, and in the evening, the keynote lecture is given by John Bell from the Ottawa Health Research Institute, a leading expert for oncolytic vectors. Internationally recognized experts in areas like targeted vector development, cancer gene and immune therapy, treatment of metabolic diseases and others will give an update on recent developments. In addition, 24 oral presentations were selected out of the submitted abstracts, which should also give enough room to young researchers to present their results in front of an international audience. In line with this, we will select posters for short 5-minute presentations during the poster walk session on Friday afternoon. We will also select the best poster for the DG-GT poster award, which will be awarded at the end of the meeting.
 
During coffee- and lunch breaks, there will be additional time to visit the posters and the industry exhibition. Here, a big ‘thank you’ goes to all companies and organizations for financially supporting this meeting. Without their support it would not have been possible to realize the meeting in its current form!
 
Lastly, the socializing aspect will be addressed by a Viennese Evening on Thursday offering a ‘zünftige Heurigenjause’ with classics from the Viennese winemakers and a ‘Night at the museum’ on Friday evening at the dinosaur hall of the world renowned Museum for Natural History in Vienna. We hope that you all will enjoy the meeting and will have time to discuss research and socialize.
 
Thank you all for coming to Vienna!
        
Manfred Ogris    
Head of organizing committee DG-GT 2015
  


 


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Annual Meeting of the German Society of Gene Therapy | Universitätsring 1  | 1010 Wien