BSGCT Elections 2021

BSGCT Board Member and Early Career Representative positions available

BSGCT is directed and run by a board of volunteers. Board members are elected by nomination and vote at the Annual General Meeting, usually held during the Annual Conference. 

Board Member Application    Early Career Representative Application

Nominations for Election to the Board

Nominations are invited from BSGCT members for election to the Board of the BSGCT, to be filled by an online vote in advance of the Annual General Meeting. Results will be announced at the meeting which this year will be held as a virtual event on Tuesday 19th October 2021, 11:00-12:00.

Board members serve for a 3 year term, and are eligible for re-election for a further 3 years. Currently there are 4 vacancies to be filled.

Nominations must be accompanied by a written statement from the nominee that he or she is willing to serve, together with a short statement and curriculum vitae (maximum of 1 A4 side in point 10 or above). Please download and use the pro-forma.  Nominations should be supported by two current BSGCT members.

Candidates for election to membership of the Board must be members of the Society. The closing date for nominations is Friday 1st October 2021.

The BSGCT Executive Officers (President, General Secretary and Treasurer) are elected from the members of the Board, hence anyone wishing to serve as an Officer should first stand for election to the Board.

Based on various factors which shall include the geographical and scientific balance within the Board, the BSGCT Executive reserves the right to select a short list of candidates to go forward for election.

Nominations should be sent by email to: 
Stu Nicklin
General Secretary, British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy

DEADLINE Friday 1st October 2021

Download nomination form

Early Career Representative Application

BSGCT is looking to recruit an early career representative(s) to the BSGCT board. Early career representatives stand for 2 years and can be re-elected for another 2. This person will be responsible for advising the board from a student's/first post-doc’s perspective and developing recruitment strategies and events centered around early career BSGCT members. For this call we are particularly interested in hearing from applicants who would be interested in taking a leading role in BSGCT’s social media activity.

The successful candidate will be expected to attend monthly teleconferences with the rest of the board and will receive free registration for the BSGCT annual conferences. All candidates must be a BSGCT member and either a currently enrolled PhD student or a junior post-doc within three years of obtaining their PhD.

The successful candidate will be selected by the current Board and announced at the AGM on 19th October 2021

Deadline Friday 1st October 2021
Return your completed form and strictly one page CV to: Stuart Nicklin.

Download application form

Meet the BSGCT Board

Professor Uta Griesenbach – President
Imperial College London
Dr Christos Georgiadis
UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
Professor Rafael J. Yáñez-Muñoz – President-Elect
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Dr Ralph Hector
University of Edinburgh
Professor Alan Parker - Treasurer
Cardiff University
Dr Rajvinder Karda
University College London
Professor Stuart Nicklin – General Secretary
University of Glasgow
Dr Gerry McLachlan
University of Edinburgh
Dr Ivana Barbaric
Centre for Stem Cell Biology, The University of Sheffield
Dr Mustafa Munye
Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
Jacqueline Barry
Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
Dr Linda Popplewell
Royal Holloway University of London
Robyn Bell – Early Career Representative
Imperial College London
Dr Carly Bliss – Early Career Representative
Cardiff University
Association Management – WATS.ON Ltd
Gaëlle Jamar


Dear member or sympathiser,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (BSGCT) website. Our Society was founded in 2003 with the goal of advancing the science and practice of gene therapy for the public benefit, and as we approach our twentieth anniversary, we remain firmly committed to an aim which is quickly becoming a clinical reality. Gene and Cell therapies are formally known as Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) in the European Union. Technically, the definition of ATMP includes products based on genes, cells or tissues. However, our field of expertise also covers short, chemically synthesized nucleic acids (oligonucleotides) that can alter gene function, which are quickly becoming an important part of the medical armamentarium. Collectively, these therapeutics offer avenues of treatment for previously intractable genetic diseases as well as novel approaches to treat common diseases.

The first gene therapy trials were conducted in the early 90s and since then the number of clinical studies has grown into the thousands. Marketing approvals took some time to arrive, but Gendicine (an adenoviral vector against cancer) received the first one, in China, in 2003. Glybera (an adeno-associated viral vector to treat lipoprotein lipase deficiency) received the first European approval in 2012. Since then, oligonucleotides, viral vectors, autologous (from the person affected) and allogeneic (donor-derived) cultured cells, and genetically modified T-cells and haematopoietic stem cells have been steadily licensed. Their relative importance is increasing fast: in the round of recommendations for marketing approval published on 16th October 2020 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA, the EU regulator), four out of the ten drugs with positive recommendations were gene or gene cell therapies.

Not surprisingly, advanced therapeutics are a priority area in the UK Industrial Strategy and present significant opportunities for health benefit and economic growth. The worldwide gene and cell therapy market has been estimated to reach $21bn/year by 2025, with $716m of gene therapy venture capital funding invested since 2010 (Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce Report). 

We have therefore entered a very exciting phase, where gene and cell therapy drugs are becoming mainstream treatments as well as crucial industrial products. However, the production and delivery of advanced therapeutics is complex and therefore expensive, and significant challenges lie ahead. To allow timely adoption of a significant drug pipeline, every stage in the therapeutic development and delivery process will require innovation, including pre-clinical and clinical studies, manufacturing, approval, pharmaceutical logistics, clinical delivery and reimbursement (the negotiation of a price between manufacturer and NHS or insurer that allows the manufacturer access to the market). In the UK, adoption through healthcare providers such as the NHS requires approval by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a very complex and lengthy process based on cost/benefit analyses which can ultimately limit access, not unusually leading to utter disappointment for people affected and their families. Realistic and transparent pricing by manufacturers, and novel evaluation methods by healthcare agencies, will be required to ensure that gene and cell therapies become universally available, but also that fair profits from these innovative technologies support future R&D. In addition, due to the explosive growth of our industry, skill shortages are threatening to become a major bottleneck in further advancing gene and cell therapies, which needs to be urgently addressed through Higher Education and Apprenticeship Training Programmes. 

BSGCT was established to foster communication and collaboration in the UK, with the aim of accelerating scientific progress and promoting fast translation from bench to bedside. Please help us with these efforts by becoming a member of our Society.

With very best wishes

Uta Griesenbach (President)
Rafael J. Yáñez-Muñoz (President-Elect)

Join the Board

BSGCT Board members serve for a 3 year term, and are eligible for re-election for a further 3 years.

Candidates for election to membership of the Board must be members of the Society, and nominations should be supported by two current BSGCT members.

Available vacancies will be advertised above.

If you would like to express an interest in becoming a board member please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will let you know when the next call for nominations is made.