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Lecture by Professor Alejandro Madrigal at Fundación Ramón Areces

Today, September 26th, the conference entitled “Advanced gene and cell therapy… Beyond the final frontier”, given by Professor Alejandro Madrigal (UCL, United Kingdom), was held in the auditorium of Fundación Ramón Areces. He explained how cell therapy is revolutionizing the treatment of malignant diseases although its production is costly, not always effective and its application is limited to some types of blood cancer. The research group he leads is developing an innovative platform for the production of allogeneic CAR-NK and CAR-T cells based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), with a revolutionary gene insertion system where multiple CARs, cytokines and other genes can be added. Thanks to these developments, cell therapy can be applied globally, and at more affordable costs, in the treatment of leukaemias, solid tumours, infections and severe inflammatory processes.

Alejandro Madrigal is a world leader in the area of immunotherapy and stem cell transplantation. Trained at universities such as UNAM, Harvard, Stanford and the University College of London (UCL), he currently teaches as Professor of Haematology at UCL and is an honorary consultant at the Royal Free Hospital. Founder and first scientific director of the Anthony Nolan Research Institute, he has also served as medical director of the Anthony Nolan Cell Therapy Centre in the UK. His research, reflected in more than 500 articles, in journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics, Lancet, Journal of Experimental Medicine and PNAS, has changed the course of immune cell therapy and stem cell transplantation, saving the lives of many patients.

Professor Madrigal has promoted the creation of donor registries and umbilical cord banks around the world, has given more than 580 lectures and has trained more than a hundred physicians and scientists, at the Anthony Nolan Institute and at UCL, where he has also served as Vice Chancellor for America. Among the numerous distinctions he has received from different countries, universities, academies and scientific societies, he has been awarded with the Gold Medal of the British Government.

The conference was presented by Daniel Bachiller, a leading researcher in the area of Stem Cell Biology and its application to Advanced Therapies, who currently holds the position of director of the Advanced Therapies Laboratory of the CSIC Biological Research Centre.