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Gene Therapy: Clinical Gains Yield A Wealth Of Research Opportunities

investigation that will carry advances forward The transfer of genetic materials into humans to correct diseases--gene therapy--is a new medical enterprise, barely three years old in the clinic. But in the short time since a research team at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., first treated a young girl's genetically compromised immune system with a transfusion of her own DNA-corrected white blood cells on Sept. 14, 1990, gene therapy has grown to command considerable public

Franklin Hoke

investigation that will carry advances forward


The transfer of genetic materials into humans to correct diseases--gene therapy--is a new medical enterprise, barely three years old in the clinic. But in the short time since a research team at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., first treated a young girl's genetically compromised immune system with a transfusion of her own DNA-corrected white blood cells on Sept. 14, 1990, gene therapy has grown to command considerable public and scientific attention.

While the public focuses on the small but growing number of clinical successes, scientists also predict an exponential growth in multi-disciplinary research opportunities linked to the young field. Disciplines that will be called on to contribute, these researchers say, include virology, immunology, cell biology, pathology, genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

"The fun thing about gene therapy is that it requires a wide variety of skills,"says Richard C. Boucher, director of...

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