The European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy ( ESGCT ) is a non-profit organization for educational and scientific purposes. The aim of ESGCT is to promote fundamental and clinical research in gene therapy , cell therapy , and genetic vaccines by facilitating education, the exchange of information and technology and by serving as a professional adviser to stakeholder communities and regulatory bodies in Europe.
ESGCT was founded in January 1992 as the European Working Group on Human Gene Transfer and Therapy (EWGT)  . The Society was renamed the European Society of Gene Therapy (ESGT) in 1998  . In 2007, the Society’s name has been changed to better reflect the fields of gene therapy and other therapies. In 2017 ESGCT is celebrating its 25th anniversary at the Annual Congress in Berlin   .
ESGCT seeks to support scientists and clinicians working in the fields of gene therapy and to promote awareness and understanding of gene therapy and the vast amount of related research in Europe  . For the past 25 years, the society has seen many developments in gene and cell therapy. The development of new and improved delivery of new and improved vaccines, while the knowledge gained through clinical trials and long-term follow up of patients, but also to the medical and life sciences. With these developments, more potential applications of gene and cell therapy and more elegant and life-changing treatments than ever before. With these possibilities and challenges for the field and the society as a whole, they need to make the transition from the bench to the patient bedside and ethical questions need to be answered. Through its activities, ESGCT seeks to stimulate further exchange of scientific knowledge and expertise, research collaboration between and within clinics, academic research and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Furthermore, ESGCT is committed to the training and support of young investigators entering the field and to facilitating an informed dialogue between the scientific community and the policy makers and society as a whole.
ESGCT Organized at the Annual Congress, which brings together scientists working in the fields of gene and cell therapy from across Europe and beyond [ref: website]. The Congress is typically held in October or November in a major European city. The conference is a platform for highlighting the latest research and techniques through the scientific sessions, which include keynote readings, invited speakers, selected speakers, poster sessions and exhibitions. Furthermore, the Congress is an opportunity to develop relationships and collaborations. The public day, where key concepts in gene and cell therapy are presented in the local language to a general audience, is an integral part of the Congress. The Congress may be organized solely by ESGCT,International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) in 2016  . Since 2016, ESGCT also organizes an annual Spring School. This meeting is aimed at students and young investigators who are new to the field of gene and cell therapy. The Spring School aims to provide an intensive training course and the opportunity to interact with current and future leaders in the field. Recently, ESGCT has started initiatives to engage its members and the wider community, including patients and members of the public. These initiatives include a heatmap that shows the location and details of gene therapy research in Europe, blogs written by the society members and news items accessible to non-specialists available on the ESGCT website .
Board and Presidents
The Board of ESGCT consists of 10 eminent scientists working in the fields of gene and / or cell therapy. Furthermore, one or two graduate students may be co-opted, non-voting, members of the Board. The presidency of ESGCT normally runs for 2 years. Presidents are elected at the Annual General Meeting, which takes place at the Annual Congress. The following people have been elected President of the Society     
- 1992 – 1996 Claudio Bordignon
- 1996 – 1998 Olivier Danos
- 1998 – 2004 Bernd Gänsbacher
- 2004 – 2006 David Klatzmann
- 2006 – 2008 George Dickson
- 2008 – 2010 Thierry VandenDriessche
- 2010 – 2012 Seppo Ylä-Herttuala
- 2012 – 2014 Luigi Naldini
- 2014 – 2016 Nathalie Cartier
- 2016 – 2018 Robin Ali
The Annual Congress of the ESGCT takes place in Europe every year to reflect the international character of the society. Since the first congress in 1993, Congresses have taken place in
- 1993: Baveno
- 1994: London
- 1995: Barcelona
- 1996: Leiden
- 1997: Milan
- 1998: Jerusalem
- 1999: Munich
- 2000: Stockholm
- 2001: Antalya
- 2002: Antibes
- 2003: Edinburgh
- 2004: Tempere
- 2005: Prague
- 2006: Athens
- 2007: Rotterdam
- 2008: Bruges
- 2009: Hannover
- 2010: Milan
- 2011: Brighton, joint with BSGT, now BSGCT
- 2012: Versailles, joint with SFTCG
- 2013: Madrid, joint with SETGyC
- 2014: The Hague, joint with NVGCT
- 2015: Helsinki, joint with FSGT
- 2016: Florence, joint with the International Society for Stem Cell Research
- 2017: Berlin, joint with DG-GT
- ^ Jump up to:a b Cohen-Haguenauer Odile (2013-01-01). “A Historical View on the Creation of the European Society for Cell and Gene Therapy” . Human Gene Therapy . 24 (1): 4-11. doi : 10.1089 / hum.2012.2524 . ISSN 1043-0342 .
- Jump up^ Axelrod, Jonathon H. (1999-01-01). “Sixth Meeting of the European Working Group on Human Gene Transfer and Therapy (EWGT) Jerusalem, Israel, November 21-24, 1998” . The Journal of Gene Medicine . 1 (1): 74-76. doi : 10.1002 / (SICI) 1521-2254 (199901/02) 1: 13.0.CO; 2-Z . ISSN 1521-2254 .
- Jump up^ “European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy” . www.facebook.com . Retrieved 2017-06-21 .
- Jump up^ “Current Congress Information” . www.esgct.eu . Retrieved 2017-06-21 .
- Jump up^ “About ESGCT” . www.esgct.eu . Retrieved 2017-06-21 .
- Jump up^ “President’s letter” . www.esgct.eu . Retrieved 2017-06-21 .
- Jump up^ “ESGCT and ISSCR Congress” (PDF) .
- Jump up^ Müller, Stefan; Simon, Jürgen W .; Vesting, Jan W. (2012-12-06). Interdisciplinary Approaches to Gene Therapy: Legal, Ethical and Scientific Aspects . Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9783642608292 .
- Jump up^ “EC Grant Part C” . www.weizmann.ac.il (in Hebrew) . Retrieved 2017-06-21 .
- Jump up^ Cohen-Haguenauer, Odile (2013-05-03). The Clinibook: Clinical gene transfer state of the art . EDK Editions. ISBN 9782842542375 .
- Jump up^ “Board Members” . www.esgct.eu . Retrieved 2017-06-21 .