Engineering somatic cells to cure inherited congenital disorders and neoplasia

Franco Locatelli is the Head of the Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, IRCCS Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome and Full Professor of Pediatrics at the Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy. He leads the largest programme of childhood allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in Italy.

In 2019 Prof. Locatelli was appointed President of the Italian Higher Council of Health, the technical scientific advisory body to the Ministry of Health.

Professor Locatelli is an expert in haematological and oncological malignancies of childhood. He has been the President of the Italian Association for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology AIEOP from 2004–2006, and served as chairman of the European EWOG-MDS consortium from 2005 to 2011. Currently, he coordinates the national protocols for children with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia and relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). He has implemented in Italy the first-in-human academic studies on children with CD19+ lymphoid malignancies using 2nd-generation retroviral and lentiviral chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and on children with neuroblastoma and other solid tumors expressing GD2 molecule using 3rd-generation retroviral CAR T cells.

Professor Locatelli is also involved in the development and validation of gene therapy and genome editing approaches in patients with thalassaemia and sickle cell disease and he has extensive experience in running Phase I/II clinical trials.

He is the author or co-author of more than 1.206 peer-reviewed articles published in international journals and he has an overall impact factor above 7000 and an H-index of 111 (Scopus source).


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