Barbara and Edward Netter Professor in Cancer Gene Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania
Levine believes the success of COVID-19 vaccine development carries lessons for cell and gene therapy by validating the benefit of long-term investment in research. He is looking forward to improvements both in viral vector manufacturing and viral-free methods of gene delivery.
What is the most interesting or little-known fact about you?
All of the interesting facts must already be known, I think. Here are some others.
1) I used to go caving, including vertical caves, in graduate school. 2) I can trace one branch of my family tree back 19 generations to Judah ben Eliezer ha-Levi Minz, a prominent 15th century Italian rabbi. 3) I coined the name “Cellicon Valley” for the Philadelphia cell and gene therapy ecosystem.
What one thing do you think could improve the pharma industry?
In cell and gene therapy, the rapid ascent of multiple therapies towards and past approval has spurred incredible investment and expansion. A clear need and bottleneck is workforce education and training at all levels.
If you weren’t in the pharma industry, what would you be doing?
Long ago, my SAT (college prep exam) tutor said he thought I would go into pathology. In a way, he was right – my faculty appointment is in the Division of Transfusion Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.