Luigi Naldini, MD PhD

Luigi Naldini, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Cell and Tissue Biology and of Gene and Cell Therapy at the San Raffaele University School of Medicine and Scientific Director of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (Milan, Italy). He has received his medical degree from the University of Turin (Italy) and his PhD from the University “La Sapienza” of Rome (Italy). For the past 30 years he has pioneered the development and applications of lentiviral vectors for gene therapy, which have become one of the most widely used tools in biomedical research and are providing a long-sought hope of cures for several otherwise deadly human diseases. Throughout this time, he has continued to investigate strategies to overcome the major hurdles to safe and effective gene therapy, bringing about innovative solutions that are not only being translated into new therapeutic strategies for genetic diseases and cancer, but have also allowed novel insights into hematopoietic stem cell function and tumor angiogenesis. He also contributed to pioneer and advance the use of artificial nucleases for targeted genome editing in cell and gene therapy. He has published >300 scientific papers. SCOPUS Author h-index: 108.

Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), has been President of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT), appointed as expert on the “Human Gene Editing Study” of the US National Academies of Sciences and of Medicine, and on the Italian National Committee for Biosafety, Biotechnology and Life Sciences. He was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) in 2014 and from ESGCT in 2015, an Honorary doctorate from the Vrije University, Brussel, in 2015, the Jimenez Diaz Prize in 2016, the Beutler Prize from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in 2017 and the 2019 Jeantet-Collen Prize for Translational Medicine. He was nominated “Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”, one of the highest-ranking honors in Italy, and elected member of “Accademia dei Lincei”, the oldest and most prestigious national academic society. He is also co-founder of three innovative biotech start-up companies: Genenta (recently listed on Nasdaq), Epsilen Bio (now acquired by Chroma Medicine) and Genespire.