Phacilitate Leaders World

2019 Translational Pioneer Award

2019 Translational Pioneer Award

The 2019 Translational Pioneer Award will be hosted at Phacilitate Leaders World on Tuesday January 22nd during the hotly anticipated super plenary.

The award is hosted by Cell & Gene Therapy Insights, a translational-focused publication. It serves to support and recognise the exceptional contributions made by our community to the translation of advanced therapies into the clinic.

Past winners include Carl June and Stefan Miltenyi, who deserves your nomination this year?

Click here to submit your nomination.

Nominees can be from any of the key stakeholder groups supporting the advancement of the sector including academia, industry, manufacturing, R&D and regulation.

Following the nomination period, Cell & Gene Therapy Insights’ Senior Editor Prof. Chris Mason will create a shortlist of nominees to be voted on by an esteemed judging panel:


Olivier Danos, Chief Scientific Officer, REGENXBIO, USA

Olivier is a pioneer in the field of gene therapy, and has dedicated his career to advancing the use of this technology to develop life-saving therapies for patients. Olivier previously served within Biogen Idec and prior to that, Kadmon Pharmaceuticals, where he served as SVP, Molecular Medicine, Synthetic Biology and Gene Regulation since 2011. In this role, he was instrumental in assembling a gene therapy program and a technology platform for the development of controllable gene expression systems. Prior to Kadmon, Olivier acted as the director of the Gene Therapy Consortium of the University College of London and led a gene therapy research team at the Necker Hospital – Enfants Malades in Paris.

Olivier also served as chief scientific officer at Genethon and senior director of research at Somatix Therapy Corporation. He has held several senior roles at the French National Centre for Scientific Research(CNRS) and at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Olivier is the former president and a founding member of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.

Olivier received a Master’s in Genetics and Molecular Biology at University of Paris Orsay, and his Ph.D. in Biology at the Pasteur Institute and University of Paris Diderot.


Dr Joanne Kurtzberg, Director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, Duke University, USA

Dr Joanne Kurtzberg is an internationally renowned expert in pediatric hemtaolgoy/oncology, pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation and novel applications of cord blood in the emerging fields of cellular therapies and regenerative medicine. Dr Kurtzberg pioneered the use of umbilical cord blood as an alternative stem cell source for unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Over the last two decades she has established an internationally known pediatric transplant program at Duke University, which treats children with cancer, blood disorders, immune deficiencies, hemoglobinopathies and inherited metabolic diseases.

In 2010 Joanne established the Julian Robertson Cell and Translational Therapy Program (CT2) at Duke. CT2 focuses on translational studies from bench to bedside with a focus on bringing cellular therpaies in regenerative medicine to the clinic. Recent areas of investigation in CT2 include the use of autologous cord blood in children with neonatal brain injury and cerebral palsy, as well as preclinical studies manufacturing oligodendrocyte-like cells from cord blood to treat patients with acquired and genetic brain diseases. Studies of autologous bone marrow ALDHbright cells in adults with stroke, radiation-induced brain injury are also underway. Plans are ongoing to extend this work to the use of autologous cord blood in the study of young children with autism specrum disorder.



Prof. Chris Mason, Chief Science Officer, AVROBIO, USA

Prof. Chris Mason is a clinician-scientist with over 20 years of cell and gene therapy experience including Full Professor of Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing at University College London. He has a multidisciplinary track record spanning R&D, clinical medicine, bioprocessing, regulation, healthcare economics, reimbursement and commercialization. He is co-founder of the London Regenerative Medicine Network, trustee of the UK Stem Cell Foundation and on the UK-Israel Science Council. Current SAB appointments include; public and private companies, the UK Cell Therapy Catapult and the Canadian Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. Prof. Mason is a general spokesperson for the cell and gene therapy sector including frequent newspaper, radio and TV interviews plus social media including @Prof_ChrisMason on Twitter. He is Senior Editor of Cell and Gene Therapy Insights


  • Real thinking forward combining experts in the field from manufacturing, regulatory and value vision” – “great network with strong experience and sharing risks & opportunities
    Anne-Virginie Eggimann
    bluebird bio
  • Great program, great people, great venue.
    Klaus Kühlcke
  • Dynamic, interesting and highly interactive event that promotes exchange and networking in highly specialized field of gene therapy.
    Nathalie Clement
    Powell Gene Therapy Center, University of Florida
  • Phacilitate provides a unique forum, bringing together research, process development, and commercial leaders on the cutting edge of cell, gene, and immunotherapy. A great conference for anyone wanting a comprehensive view of the field.
    Dr James Trager
  • It was all business. I’ve never been to an event where over 80% of the conversations I had were constructive to my business objectives.
    Kurt Gielen
    Chemelot Campus B.V.
  • Great way to expand network with global experts in cell and gene therapy who are facing similar challenges.
    Steven Goodman