Evolution of Gene Therapy
New Hope for Cures and Emerging Ethical Dilemmas
Genetic mistakes can have devastating consequences. Rare, debilitating, and even fatal diseases are often caused by just a single typo in the 3 billion letters that make up our genetic code. Dr. Steven Gray is on a mission to correct these mistakes and deliver permanent cures to patients. His gene therapy strategy holds such promise that the FDA fast-tracked a clinical trial, currently underway, to treat a rare childhood neurodegenerative disease. While gene therapy has the potential to someday cure everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease, these tools must be wielded with great caution and stringent ethical standards so that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks. At the conclusion of his presentation, Dr. Gray will be joined by UT Southwestern ethicist Dr. Elizabeth Heitman for an interactive discussion about the past, present, and future of this exciting and hot-button topic.
Dr. Steven Gray is Associate Professor in Pediatrics, Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth & Development, Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, Molecular Biology, and Neurology & Neurotherapeutics. He is an industry-leading gene therapy scientist who joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2017 to develop gene therapy clinical trials for inherited neurological disorders. Gene therapy is the method of replacing defective genes with healthy genes to correct genetic defects. Dr. Gray oversees the new UTSW viral vector production facility, which will provide scientists with resources to carry out basic, translational, and clinical research through gene therapy. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University and earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Gray performed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on gene therapy at UNC-Chapel Hill and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers. He also has nine pending patents. In 2016 the Triangle Business Journalrecognized Dr. Gray with a Health Care Hero Award.
Date: March 27, 2019
Time: 6:00-7:30 PM
Location: UT Southwestern - T. Boone Pickens Biomedical Building
Cost: Patrons - Free, Members - $10, Guests/Non-Members - $15