Luigi Naldini, MD, PhD, is the Director of San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Milan, Italy, and Full Professor with Tenure at the San Raffaele Vita-Salute University, Milan. For the past 25 years he has pioneered the development and the applications of lentiviral vectors for gene therapy, which have become one of the most widely used tools in biomedical research and, upon recently entering clinical testing, are providing a long-sought hope of cures for several currently untreatable and otherwise deadly human diseases. Throughout this time he has continued to investigate new strategies to overcome the major hurdles to safe and effective gene transfer, bringing about innovative solutions that not only are being translated into new therapeutic strategies for genetic disease and cancer, but have allowed novel insights into hematopoietic stem cell function, induction of immunological tolerance, and tumor angiogenesis. His work also contributed to advance the use of artificial nucleases for targeted genome editing in cell and gene therapy. He has published over 280 scientific papers. (SCOPUS Author h-index: 102.)
Luigi received his medical degree from the University of Torino, Italy, and his PhD from the University of Rome. He is Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), has been President of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT), and has been 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, from the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister of Italy on December 27th, 2019.