Genomes and Gene Therapy: ASGT president ponders each field's effect on the other

If the size of a society provides a reading of the health of a field, gene therapy may be heading for a fruitful stretch. The American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT) attracted 600 abstracts and 1,700 participants to its inaugural meeting in Seattle last year, compared to 1,000 abstracts and 2,100 participants to its second annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last month. In a conversation with News Editor Paul Smaglik, James Wilson, ASGT president and director of the University of Pennsylvania's

Paul Smaglik
Jul 18, 1999

If the size of a society provides a reading of the health of a field, gene therapy may be heading for a fruitful stretch. The American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT) attracted 600 abstracts and 1,700 participants to its inaugural meeting in Seattle last year, compared to 1,000 abstracts and 2,100 participants to its second annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last month. In a conversation with News Editor Paul Smaglik, James Wilson, ASGT president and director of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Human Gene Therapy, predicted that the gene therapy field will soon score some clinical successes. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: There will be at least one "rough draft of the human genome" next year. What implications will the completion of that project have for gene therapy?

A: It's not how will the genome project affect gene therapy, but how can...