The Gene Therapy Center serves as a nidus for activities related to this new field at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and for a larger cadre of participants nationally and internationally.
We, the Center team, seek to foster the development of three key missions:
the basic science of gene therapy
the clinical science of gene therapy
gene therapy traineeship
In this regard, the Gene Therapy Center embodies a model of "bench-to-bedside" translation. Scientific advancements developed within our laboratories are advanced into human clinical trials at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This cross-supportive structure brings basic scientists and clinical scientists in a productive and unique interface. As well, this approach allows us to translate promising therapeutic interventions into human clinical trials with the greatest possible speed.
The field of gene therapy is in its infancy. As such, it currently lacks the traditional elements characterizing other medical endeavors. Our goal is to advance the recognition of gene therapy as a legitimate arm of biomedicine capable of achieving valid therapeutic results in the human context. Further, we seek to advance the understanding of the wide range of disease interventions which may represent an appropriate application of this technology.
Over and above these considerations, we strive to advance the basic science of the field, such that it represents a legitimate area of career pursuit for talented basic scientists. In addition , we hope to advance this context whereby academic clinicians can endeavor careers as "clinical-translators" with gene therapy as a primary focus.
Finally, we aspire to advance gene therapy as an area of scholarly pursuit. We currently serve as a training ground for postdoctoral fellows seeking grounding in this area, and have developed a basic program in gene therapy, whereby a "gene therapy Ph.D." may be obtained within our program.