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Giulio Cossu

Giulio Cossu is Constance Thornley Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manchester.
He received his MD degree from the University of Rome, then moved as Fogarty fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and in 1992 became Professor of Histology and Embryology in Rome. In 2000 he became Director of the “Stem Cell Research Institute” and then of the Division of Regenerative Medicine at San Raffaele in Milan. In 2012 he moved as Professor of Human Stem Cell Biology to University College London and in 2013 to the University of Manchester. He is EMBO Member, Member of the European Academy of Science, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Accademia dei Lincei. Giulio Cossu is recognized for his pioneering work on muscle development and on the cell therapy for muscular dystrophies. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and secured grants for more than10 M€.  


Regenerative medicine today: achievements, hopes and hypes

Until recently, success in stem cell and in gene therapy has been limited to diseases affecting blood and epithelia (e.g. large burns, cornea transplantation). However, due to the amazing scientific progress in the last few years, new opportunities for cell and gene therapy have emerged for diseases affecting brain, heart or other connective tissues, typically difficult to treat. Clinical trials have been initiated for many such diseases with results beginning to appear. Also, many poorly controlled or uncontrolled trials are also taking place. This muddles the picture and unjustifiably raises expectations and hopes for the many patients affected by currently incurable diseases. Examples of successful and of unsuccessful clinical trials will be presented, outlining the possible reasons for these different results which point to the direction for the future. Finally, the economical, social and ethical implications and impacts of cell and gene therapy will be briefly discussed.

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