Luigi Naldini is the Director of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Director of the Division of Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells and Gene Therapy, and Professor at the San Raffaele University.
He studied Medicine at the University of Torino, Italy, where later he obtained his PhD in Cell and Tissue Biology under the supervision of Dr. Comoglio. Afterwards, he carried out post-doctoral work in Rockville, USA, with Yossi Schlessinger, was visiting scientist with Inder Verma and Didier Trono at the Salk Institute, and subsequently had independent appointments at Cell Genesys, California and the University of Torino, prior to moving to Milan in 2002, where he currently works.
For the last 20 years, Luigi Naldini has pioneered the development and applications of lentiviral vectors for gene transfer, which have become one of the most widely used tool in biomedical research and, upon recently entering clinical testing, are providing a long sought hope of cure for several currently untreatable and otherwise deadly human diseases. The current research activities include:
1) Improving hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy and regulated vectors
2) Investigating microRNA biology in the hematopoietic system
3) Exploiting engineered endonucleases for gene editing in human stem cells
4) Devising novel epigenetic switches to permanently silence mutant genes
5) Liver gene transfer and hemophilia gene therapy
6) Tie2-expressing monocytes: from contribution to angiogenesis and tissue regeneration to exploitation for targeting gene therapy to tumors
Furthermore, Prof. Nalgini has published over 190 papers in international scientific journals, is inventor of 7 granted international patents, including one on the lentiviral technology, is Member of the Editorial Board of Molecular Therapy and Gene Therapy, is an elected member of EMBO, and he has been awarded with the ERC Advanced International Grant in 2009, among others.