Blood 2019
Christian Brendel

Christian Brendel

Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, Harvard Medical School, USA

Christian Brendel is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

The focus of his work is the development of genetic therapies for severe diseases for which no or only poor treatment options are available, with a strong focus on hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy. Early during Christian's research career, he contributed to the development of the first lentiviral gene therapy for the primary immunodeficiency X-linked Chronic Granulomatous Disease, which is currently in clinical testing in a multicenter study in the US. More recently, he worked on a novel gene therapy approach for Sickle Cell Disease which is based on erythroid-specific knock-down of the transcription factor BCL11A. Downregulation of BCL11A in erythroid cells reverses the fetal-to-adult hemoglobin switch, essentially reactivating the curative fetal globin gene and simultaneously downregulating the sickling adult chain. This approach has recently entered clinical testing in a single-centre study at Boston Children’s Hospital with promising results. Additional activities in Dr Brendel's own laboratory, established in 2017 at DFCI/BCH in Boston, include the exploration of various viral and CRISPR-Cas9 based strategies for novel indications with an unmet need.

Positions and Employment
2011-2013 Postdoc, Biomedical Research Institute Georg-Speyer-Haus, Frankfurt, Germany
2013-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA
2016-pres Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Center and Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA
2017-pres Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Other Experience and Professional Memberships
2006-pres Member, European Society of Cell and Gene Therapy
2007-2013 Member of the PhD advisory committee of the graduate program “Biologicals” at the Goethe-University Frankfurt and the Research Institute Georg-Speyer-Haus, Frankfurt, Germany
2010-pres Member, American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy
2014-pres Member, American Society of Hematology
2012-pres Reviewer for Molecular Therapy
2012-pres Reviewer for Human Gene Therapy
2013-pres Reviewer for Scientific Reports
2013-pres Reviewer for Pediatric Research
2017-pres Reviewer for Blood
2017-pres Reviewer for Current Gene Therapy
2018-pres Faculty member, American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy
2018-pres Faculty member, European Society of Hematology
2018-pres Reviewer for Blood Advances

Honors
01/2008 Leslie Fairbairn Presentation Award at the CONSERT-Gene Therapy Meeting in Leukerbad, Switzerland
09/2005–08/2009 PhD student-scholarship of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
12/2010 Paul-Ehrlich Förderpreis “Young Researcher Award“ from “Gesellschaft der Freunde Paul-Ehrlich Förderverein e.V.”
06/2011 “Summa cum laude“ honor doctorate degree
03/2012 Travel award of the German Society for Gene Therapy (DG-GT) to visit the 18th annual congress
06/2012 Mildred Scheel stipend for participation in the Wilsede-Meeting “Modern Trends in human leukemia & cancer”
12/2014 Research Achievement Award of the American Society of Hematology
05/2016 Travel award of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy

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