Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite you to the 2022 In-person meeting of the Israeli Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ISGCT 2022), set to take place in Tel-Aviv, on February 10th, 2022.

Gene and Cell therapy are finally taking center stage in global health. No longer a futuristic dream of the hopeful few but rather a true revolutionary reality, with several drugs already on the market and hundreds of advanced clinical trials. We can proudly reflect on the important role of Israeli researchers in the rising of the field, with seminal contributions to stem cell research, T cell engineering, genome editing, liver gene therapy and so much more.

Remaining challenges are nevertheless formidable. How can we improve delivery and prolong the effect? How can we increase therapeutic potency while providing safety? How can we devise new remedies for the yet incurable devastating human ailments, and do so in a scalable and affordable manner?

Meeting these challenges will require the innovation and dedication of individual researchers, but it will also depend on nourishing strong scientific communities. The Israeli Society of Gene and Cell therapy has thus set as its goals to support the sharing of data and ideas, promote collaborations, address common challenges and advance clinical translation.

In the upcoming 2022 ISGCT meeting, we are privileged to have Professor Gidi Rechavi give a Keynote lecture. We are also most excited by the impressive list of speakers from the Israeli academia, clinic and industry, destined to make this event a great boost for our rejuvenating society. Please do join us at the 2022 ISGCT meeting. 

See you! 

Adi Barzel, PhD, Tel Aviv University,
President of Israeli Society of Gene and Cell Therapy

Organizing Committee

                      
          Adi Barzel                 Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski                Ayal Hendel

Keep Me Updated

* Required

Keynote Speaker

  • Prof. Gidi Rechavi

    Prof. Gidi Rechavi

Prof. Gidi Rechavi

Sheba Cancer Research Center, Israel

Bio:

Gidi is  the Head of the Sheba Cancer Research Center and he is an Israel prize Laureate.

Title:

Epitranscriptomics is entering the therapeutic arena

Abstract:

INVITED SPEAKERS

  • Karen B. Avrahan
    Tel Aviv University, Israel

    Karen B. Avrahan
  • Prof. Eyal Banin
    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Israel

    Prof. Eyal Banin
  • Patrick Baumhof, PhD
    Senior Vice President Formulation & Delivery

    Patrick Baumhof, PhD
  • Prof. Marcelo Ehrlich
    Tel Aviv University
    Israel

    Prof. Marcelo Ehrlich
  • Prof. Lior Gepstein
    Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
    Israel

    Prof. Lior Gepstein
  • Prof. Rotem Karni
    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Israel

    Prof. Rotem Karni
  • Prof. Batsheva Kerem
    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Israel

    Prof. Batsheva Kerem
  • Prof. Shulamit Levenberg
    Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
    Israel

    Prof. Shulamit Levenberg
  • Pete Lutwyche
    Genevant Sciences Corporation

    Pete Lutwyche
  • James McArthur
    CEO, Pepgen

    James McArthur
  • Prof. Dan Peer
    Tel Aviv University
    Israel

    Prof. Dan Peer
  • Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro
    Tel Aviv University
    Israel

    Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro
  • Laura Sepp-Lorenzino
    CSO, Intellia

    Laura Sepp-Lorenzino
  • Prof. Orit Shefi
    Bar-Ilan University
    Israel

    Prof. Orit Shefi
  • Dr. Eric Shifrut
    Tel Aviv University
    Israel

    Dr. Eric Shifrut

Karen B. Avrahan

Tel Aviv University, Israel

Bio:

Title:

Rescuing hearing with AAV: Stories from Syne4

Abstract:

Prof. Eyal Banin

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Israel

Bio:

Professor Eyal Banin is Director of the Center for Retinal and Macular Degenerations (CRMD) at the Department of Ophthalmology at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel.  He is a graduate of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine, holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the Hebrew University, and completed his ophthalmology residency at Hadassah Medical Center. Following a post-doctoral and medical retina fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Scheie Eye Institute in Philadelphia, he was appointed head of the Medical Retina Service and the CRMD at Hadassah. His main clinical and research focus is in the field of retinal and macular degenerations, including the development and application of novel cell- and gene-based therapies for these diseases. The recipient of many research grants from Israeli and foreign institutions, Dr. Banin has authored and published over 140 papers and articles in leading medical journals.

Title:

Gene Augmentation Therapy for Achromatopsia Caused by Mutations in the CNGA3 Gene: The Journey from Molecular Genetics to Clinical Application

Abstract:

Patrick Baumhof, PhD

Senior Vice President Formulation & Delivery

Bio:

Trained in Chemistry, at the University of Leipzig. His scientific expertise includes chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and immunology. He joined CureVac in July 2007 when he was responsible for the development and preclinical testing of new formulations for mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. He is inventor of several patents and he co-authored several publications on mRNA technology. Currently he is Senior Vice President Formulation and Delivery at CureVac AG.

Title:

Abstract:

Prof. Marcelo Ehrlich

Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Title:

Oncolytic virotherapy: exploiting cancer-induced modifications to cell autonomous immunity

Abstract:

Prof. Lior Gepstein

Technion - Israel Institute of TechnologyIsrael

Bio:

Title:

Gene and cell therapy approaches for cardiac disorders

Abstract:

Prof. Rotem Karni

The Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

Bio:

Prof. Karni, a native of Israel, is a full professor and chair of the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Institute for Medical Research at the Hebrew University Medical School.

He began his academic career at the Hebrew University, where he received both his B.Sc. and PhD degrees. As a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Chemistry, Institute of Life Sciences under the mentorship of Prof. Alexander Levitzki, he focused on researching cellular signaling pathways. Then, as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Adrian Krainer, CSHL, NY he studied the role of alternative splicing in cancer. In 2008 he joined the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where he still is today.

As an independent researcher, Prof. Karni has continued to focus on the role of alternative splicing factors in cancer. He has published extensively on the oncogenic activities of various alternative splicing factors and their respective targets.  Based on his studies he is working on developing ways to modulate these alternative splicing events as a cancer therapy. This research represents an original and targeted approach for glioblastoma treatment and other cancers. In addition, he is developing specific splicing factor inhibitors (decoy oligonucleotides).To date, there are no inhibitors that directly inhibit the activity of specific splicing factors apart from an inhibitor of a general spliceosomal component SF3B1. Prof. Karni's group has designed and tested decoy oligonucleotides which are recognized by specific alternative splicing factors. These decoy molecules also represent a novel approach for targeting cancers in which splicing factors are overexpressed. Prof. Karni has several patents related to these projects.  Prof. Karni is also doing research relevant to genetic diseases, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, where he is applying his knowledge of RNA stability and splicing to search for new therapeutic approaches.

Prof. Karni is the co-founder, inventor and adviser in three biotech startup companies in the field of RNA therapeutics: SKIP therapeutics, RNAble and Andlit therapeutics.  

Title:

Modulating RNA processing for therapy

Abstract:

Prof. Batsheva Kerem

The Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

Bio:

Prof. Batsheva Kerem received her B.S.c in Biology with distinction from the Hebrew University (1979) and her Ph.D. (1986). Her postdoctoral training was undertaken at the
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. In 1990, she returned to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a senior lecturer and as an associate professor (1998). From 2003, she was appointed full professor.

At the Hebrew University, Prof. Kerem established and chaired the National Genomic Knowledge Center at the Institute of Life Sciences (1997-2014), she served as the Head of Department of Genetics (2004-2006) and as the Head of the Authority for research students (from 2007-2011). In the last 7 years, Prof. Kerem is the university’s president advisor for promotion of women in science. 

Prof. Kerem received numerous prizes, including the Joels Senior Lectureship for Excellence in Science (1996), The Teva Prize for Excellence in Human Genome (1993), the Julodan Prize for Contribution to Medicine (1993).  Prof. Kerem was granted the Abisch-Frenkel Prize for Excellence in Life Sciences in 2003 and lastly, she was granted the Emet Prize in 2008.

Prof. Kerem is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She serves on the editorial board of the European Journal of Human Genetics and EMBO Reports Journal and is a member of the European Research Council (ERC) for advanced scientists.

Prof. Kerem has published over 135 papers.

Title:

Antisense oligonucleotide splicing modulation as a novel Cystic Fibrosis therapeutic approach

Abstract:

Prof. Shulamit Levenberg

Technion - Israel Institute of TechnologyIsrael

Bio:

Professor Shulamit Levenberg is the head of the Stem cell and Tissue engineering lab at the Technion Faculty of Biomedical Engineering and the director of the Technion Center for 3D Bioprinting. Prof Levenberg leads cutting-edge research in tissue-engineering by bioprinting complex tissue for regenerative medicine.  She was the first to engineer vascularized tissue flaps, offering novel reconstruction techniques using engineered tissue constructs. Her work also demonstrated the effect of scaffold stiffness and tensile forces on early differentiation and organization of stem cells in 3D constructs, and on alignment of vessel networks in engineered tissues. She recently developed unique stem-cell engineered tissue constructs that induce the regeneration and repair of injured spinal cords and a genetically engineered muscle tissue for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Prof. Levenberg is founder and CSO of three start-up companies in the areas of cultured meat, spinal cord regeneration and nanoliter diagnostic arrays. 

Title:

Engineered skeletal muscle constructs overexpressing GLUT4 for type 2 diabetes treatment

Abstract:

Pete Lutwyche

Genevant Sciences Corporation

Bio:

Pete Lutwyche has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Genevant Sciences Corporation since July 2020. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer and Vancouver Site Head from Genevant’s inception in April 2018. Prior to joining Genevant, Pete was Chief Technology Officer of Arbutus Biopharma, where he led the development of the company’s nucleic acid-delivery technology, and Head of Pharmaceutical Development at QLT, where he contributed to the development and commercialization of VISUDYNE®. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of nucleic acid-based products. Pete holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Warwick.

Title:

Abstract:

James McArthur

CEO, Pepgen

Bio:

James McArthur currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of PepGen and serves on the company’s Board of Directors. James has 25+ years of industry experience, has cofounded 5 biotechnology companies, 3 of which were acquired, and has served as a Director of two companies through successful initial public offerings. He was founding CEO of Imara, a public company developing therapies for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia, co-founder and President of R&D of Cydan, a rare disease accelerator, and founding CSO of Synovex/Adheron, a rheumatology therapy company acquired by Roche. Prior to these companies, James held senior research leadership roles in several pioneering gene and stem cell therapy companies. He was a Venture Partner at RA Capital and an entrepreneur in residence at HealthCare Ventures. James was previously a post-doctoral fellow at MIT and UC Berkeley working with Drs. David Raulet and Nobel Laureate James Allison, before which he received his PhD in molecular oncology and BSc in biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal.

Title:

Abstract:

Prof. Dan Peer

Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Dan Peer is a Professor and the Director of the Laboratory of Precision NanoMedicine at Tel Aviv University (TAU). He is also the Vice President for Research and Development at Tel Aviv University. From 2016 - 2020, he was the Chair of Tel Aviv University Cancer Biology Research Center that includes 17 affiliated hospitals and from 2017 - Present, he is the Founding and Managing Director of the SPARK program of Translational Medicine at TAU. Prof. Peer is also the Chairman of Ramot, TAU Tech Transfer Company and Chairman of TAU Ventures, the Venture arm of TAUץ

Prof. Peer’s work was among the first to demonstrate systemic delivery of RNA molecules using targeted nanocarriers to the immune system and he pioneered the use of RNA interference (RNAi) in immune cells. In addition, his lab was the first to show systemic, cell specific delivery of modified mRNA to cells to induce therapeutic gene expression of desired proteins within the immune system that has enormous implications in cancer, inflammation and infection diseases (e.g. COVID 19 mRNA vaccines). In addition, his lab was the first to show high efficiency, systemic, cell specific therapeutic genome editing in cancer.

Prof. Peer has more than 130 pending and granted patents. Some of them have been licensed to several pharmaceutical companies and one is currently under registration (as a new biological drug in Inflammatory Bowel Disease). In addition, based on his work, five spin-off companies were generated aiming to bring innovative personalized medicine into clinical practice. 

Prof. Peer received more than 30 awards and honors and he serves on the scientific advisory board of more than 15 companies, and on the editorial board of more than 20 journals. He is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Controlled Release. Prof. Peer is a past President of the Israeli Chapter of the Controlled Release Society, and a Past Member of the Board of the Israel Young Academy.

Title:

The RNA revolution: from Gene Silencing to Gene Editing

Abstract:

Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro

Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro (Ph.D.) is a Full Professor at Tel Aviv University, Head of the Cancer Research & Nanomedicine Laboratory at the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, The Lion Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies and the Director of the Cancer Biology Research Center. She received her B.Pharm. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, her Ph.D. from the University of London and a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston. She joined Tel Aviv University in 2006. The overarching goal of Prof. Satchi-Fainaro’s multidisciplinary research is to establish preclinical models of cancer in order to rationally design novel clinically-translatable nanomedicines targeting tumor cells and their stroma. Prof. Satchi-Fainaro serves on several Boards of Directors of pharmaceutical companies and hospitals, VCs and Editorial Boards, and is a founder of a start-up biotech company. She published more than 150 manuscripts and is named inventor on 60 patents.

Title:

Abstract:

Laura Sepp-Lorenzino

CSO, Intellia

Bio:

Laura Sepp-Lorenzino, Ph.D. oversees Research and Early Development at  Intellia Therapeutics in her role as Chief Scientific Officer. Intellia’s leading CRISPR/Cas9-based platform supports a full-spectrum strategy, which deploys differentiated, modular solutions across in vivo and ex vivo therapeutic applications. Before joining Intellia, Laura was VP, Head of Nucleic Acid Therapies and member of the External Innovation team at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, with previous positions as VP and entrepreneur-in-residence at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Executive Director RNA Therapeutics at Merck & Co., Inc. In addition to her extensive experience in nucleic acid therapies, Laura has expertise in oncology drug discovery and development acquired earlier in her career by leading the Cancer Research Department at Merck West Point and working as an assistant attending molecular biologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She received her professional degree in Biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from New York University. Laura is a member of the board of directors of Taysha Gene Therapies, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine and the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society, and sits on the scientific advisory board of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Zymergen Inc., and the U.K. Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator.

Title:

Abstract:

Prof. Orit Shefi

Bar-Ilan UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Title:

Neuro-engineering tools for nerve regeneration

Abstract:

Dr. Eric Shifrut

Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Affiliation:

Dotan center for Advanced Therapies, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Tel Aviv University

Faculty of Life Sciences, School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Tel Aviv University

Eric Shifrut is a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University and a principal investigator at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Eric completed his graduate studies under the mentorship of Prof. Nir Friedman at the Weizmann Institute of Science, mapping the TCR repertoire in health and disease. For his postdoctoral training, he joined Alex Marson at UCSF and Gladstone Institutes to pioneer CRISPR discovery platforms to study primary human T cells. Today, Eric leads an independent team with the mission to leverage these achievements in CRISPR engineering to design best-in-class T cell therapies against cancer.

Title:

CRISPR engineering of T cell therapies

Abstract:

REGISTRATION

Important Note: Participation at the ISGCT 2022 is subject to Green Pass limitations and requirements. Please make sure to bring your Green Pass with you on the morning of the meeting. 
  1. Full participant
    400 NIS
    Registration Fees Include:

    Entrance to all sessions

    Entrance to panel discussion

    Entrance to exhibition

    Coffee breaks and refreshments

    Lunch

    Network with colleagues

  2. Student
    150 NIS
    Registration Fees Include:

    Entrance to all sessions

    Entrance to panel discussion

    Entrance to exhibition

    Coffee breaks and refreshments

    Lunch

    Network with colleagues

  3. Overseas Participant
    Panel Only

    Location for on-site participants: Britannia Building, Room 014

     

     

     

     

  • When

    Thursday, 10 February 2022
    09:00-17:00
  • Where

    ANU - Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv

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