The European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) board honors Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala for his exceptional career achievements and has selected him as the winner of the 2023 ESGCT Outstanding Achievement Award. The award is the most prestigious award conferred by the ESGCT.
Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala's outstanding contributions to the field of gene therapy have had a profound impact on both basic science and potential human therapies. He has not only served as President of the ESGCT but has also been involved in various significant roles, such as board membership with the European Society of Cardiology and chairing the Biocenter of Kuopio and EU-EATRIS national network.
Professor Ylä-Herttuala has made pioneering contributions to cardiovascular gene therapy. In 1995, he led the way by applying adenoviral gene transfer to human arteries, improving myocardial perfusion through VEGF in phase I/II trials. His research revealed the value of promoter-targeted upregulating shRNAs and the vasculoprotective effects of VEGF, benefiting dialysis patients in a phase II trial. He also developed essential techniques like a perivascular gene delivery device and the cloning of a soluble scavenger receptor for hyperlipidemia treatment. Furthermore, his work shed light on the biology and signaling of VEGFs such as VEGF-B and VEGF-C/D in the heart. Under his leadership, eight phase I-III gene therapy trials have been conducted. These achievements have revolutionized gene therapy and advanced medical science significantly.
Furthermore, as the founder of Ark Therapeutics Ltd (now FinVector Ltd) and the founder and Chairman of the Board at Rokote Laboratories Finland Oy, Professor Ylä-Herttuala continues to play a crucial role in developing clinical GMP gene transfer vectors and nasal vaccines, contributing to advancements in the field of gene therapy and vaccine research.
For further information, visit European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy website: https://www.esgct.eu/post/seppo-yla-herttuala-winner-of-2023-outstanding-achievement-award