Jean Bennett

Jean Bennett is a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.[12]She specializes in ophthalmology.[1]

Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, is a professor of ophthalmology and director of the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.[3]At Penn, she studied the genetics of retinitis pigmentosa - a group of inherited diseases that gradually destroy sight.[4]She used an adeno-associated virus as her vector to ferry the corrected gene into the eye.[5]She has developed gene transfer approaches to test treatment strategies for retinal degenerative and ocular neovascular diseases, to elucidate retinal differentiation pathways and to identify pathogenetic mechanisms that lead to blindness.[6]Her team was the first to enroll pediatric subjects with a nonlethal disease as gene therapy participants.[6]She has received numerous awards and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians, and she served on the Board of Directors, American Society for Cell and Gene Therapy.[7]

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University of Pennsylvania


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Recent events

University of Pennsylvania: Vision Researchers Honored by End Blindness 2020

Three University of Pennsylvania researchers have been honored by The Sanford and Sue Greenberg Prize to End Blindness by 2020 for their research, which led to the first Food and Drug Administration-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease. Gustavo D. Aguirre of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Jean Bennett and Albert M. Maguire of the Perelman School of Medicine, together with William Hauswirth of the University of Florida, are recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Prize, to be awarded in a virtual ceremony today.[14]


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Lauded gene therapy pioneer Jean Bennett ’76 to speak at Class Day

Yale College alumna Dr. Jean Bennett ’76 — a pioneer in the field of gene therapy who has dedicated her career to restoring eyesight — will deliver the 2020 Class Day address, headlining a virtual celebration of Yale College traditions typically observed on campus. In her Class Day address, Bennett will offer insights from her days as a Yale student to her current work at the forefront of medical research, and share her vision for a future marked by acuity, creativity, and community.[13]


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Blazing a new trail in gene therapy for retinal disease

Gene therapy to treat retinal degenerations is alive and well. The drug, according to Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, was the first to develop a path for the development of genetic treatments for blindness and provided motivation for ophthalmologists and insurers to carry out genetic testing. Over the previous three decades, seeval vehicles to deliver gene therapy have been tested; the one that stood out in many studies was the adeno-associated virus, a single-strand virus that is not disease-causing in animals or humans and can infect post-mitotic neurons and dividing cells, Dr. Bennett said.[15]


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    Phila. researchers bring sight to the blind2019-02-26