Vancouver, Canada, April 07, 2022 - The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT), the global society of clinicians, researchers, regulators, technologists, and industry partners dedicated to the translation of cell and gene therapy (CGT) into safe and effective therapies to improve patients’ lives, today announces the recipients of its 2022 Career Achievement Award in Cell & Gene Therapy and the Darwin J. Prockop Mentoring Award.
The international awards will be presented at the ISCT 2022 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, US, May 4-7, 2022 . The ISCT awards showcase exemplary role models whose contributions have shaped the future of cell and gene therapies. These individuals inspire the current and future expanding workforce and encourage key interest with other leaders for innovation and mentorship in the field. The award recipients are selected from a shortlist of nominees proposed from the 2,400 members of ISCT in over 60 countries. The final decision is made by the ISCT Awards Committee, comprising 8 international senior figures across the sector.
Robert A Preti, PhD will receive the 2022 ISCT Career Achievement Award. This award is the highest honor from ISCT. It recognizes an exceptional individual that has given long and distinguished service to advancing the overall cell and gene therapy field, resulting in significant achievements that benefit patients. ISCT recognizes that the field of cell and gene therapy depends upon multiple contributing sources, including academia, regulatory affairs (including quality operations), and industry. Robert will be the seventh recipient of this annual award, joining the alumni of CGT trailblazers who have been honored since 2016.
Robert Preti, prior to his retirement, was Chief Strategy Officer, Minaris Life Sciences and GM/Chief Strategy Officer, Hitachi Chemical Corporation. In his 2019 ISCT Talking With Giants interview, Robert’s advice to those entering the field was ‘Keep the patient front and center and the mission stays clear’. As a founding member of ISCT and one of the most experienced and respected senior executives in cell and gene therapy he subsequently provided invaluable contributions to advance the growth of the society and the sector. This included creating links between ISCT and the FDA, establishing the first liaison meeting between the two organizations in 2004. He further broadened these links between regulators and the sector by providing early education of FDA regulations and guidance to the sector through ISCT Somatic Cell Therapy Meetings and cGMP workshops. He also played a key role in the development of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the body establishing the standards and certifications for medical and laboratory practice in cell and gene therapy, as well as an industry association to drive the commercial development of advanced cell and gene-based therapies.
Patricia Rocco, MD, PhD will receive the 2022 Darwin J. Prockop Mentoring Award. This award was inaugurated in 2021, and recognizes an outstanding mentor who has dedicated their career to inspire, guide and cultivate their mentee’s ongoing development in the field of cell and gene therapy. Patricia is a Full Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a researcher for the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil as well as Past Regional VP, South & Central America for the society. The judging panel recognized her pioneering respiratory research, including her discoveries in new therapeutic strategies for respiratory diseases. Her students and past mentees reported to the panel that mentoring for Patricia ‘is not part of the job, it is the job’. Known for her relentless motivation and enthusiastic leadership skills, she was instrumental in empowering students to innovate, establish collaborations, present their work, and provided the guidance and opportunities for her mentees to secure their education and careers both nationally and internationally.
“When Bob Preti entered the CGT field in 1986, it did not exist – there was no regulation, investment, services or reimbursement. In the subsequent 36 years since this genesis, the CGT field has evolved into an entire sector in its own right. It is the determination, talent, skills and tenacity of a specific number of individuals, including Bob, that has built an entire sector that has made the impact it has in the medical field, and the saving of lives, with the promise of revolutionizing the treatment of so many more patients in the future,” said Daniel J. Weiss, MD, PhD, Chair, ISCT Awards Committee. “Whilst ISCT recognizes the previous contributions of those that founded both the industry, as well as ISCT, it is right to also recognize in tandem those that inspire and train the individuals that we need to pass the baton onto. Leaders like Patricia Rocco have been vital in developing the next professionals who will be pushing the potential of CGTs to even greater heights, and becoming the leaders of tomorrow.”
About the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy
Established in 1992, the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) is a global society of clinicians, regulators, researchers, technologists, and industry partners with a shared vision to translate cell and gene therapy into safe and effective therapies to improve patients’ lives worldwide.
ISCT is the global leader focused on pre-clinical and translational aspects of developing cell and gene-based therapeutics, thereby advancing scientific research into innovative treatments for patients. ISCT offers a unique collaborative environment that addresses three key areas of translation: Academia, Regulatory, and Commercialization. Through strong relationships with global regulatory agencies, academic institutions, and industry partners, ISCT drives the advancement of research into a standard of care.
Comprised of over 2,400 cell and gene therapy experts across five geographic regions and representation from over 60 countries, ISCT members are part of a global community of peers, thought leaders, and organizations invested in cell and gene therapy translation. For more information about the society, key initiatives, and upcoming meetings, please visit: https://isctglobal.org, @ISCTglobal.
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