Gene therapy pioneer John A. Zaia, MD, has been named Director of the Center for Gene Therapy within City of Hope’s Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute. Internationally known and respected for his groundbreaking research into potential gene therapy treatments for HIV, Dr. Zaia will maximize the potential of gene therapy not just for HIV, but also for cancer and other diseases.
Dr. Zaia, the Aaron D. and Edith Miller Chair in Gene Therapy, and past Chair of the Department of Virology, is also the Principal Investigator of the new Alpha Clinic for Cell Therapy and Innovation (ACT-I) at City of Hope. The clinic is dedicated to identifying new stem cell cures for currently incurable diseases, and to helping those cures become a standard option for patients who need them.
Among the treatments tested in the clinic will be immunotherapy approaches developed in the hematologic institute using gene therapy. Dr. Zaia will bridge the current gap between the promise and the reality of stem cell treatments, speeding lifesaving treatments to the patients who need them.
“When it comes to gene therapy, John has been both a visionary and a teacher,” said Stephen J. Forman, MD, the Director of the Hematologic Institute. “His leadership will be vital in helping doctors and researchers maximize the potential of gene therapy as a source of treatments.” ■