Luigi Naldini is the Director of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy and Director of the Division of Regenerative Medicine-Stem Cells and Gene Therapy and professor at the San Raffaele University. For the past 20 years, he has pioneered the development and applications of lentiviral vectors for gene transfer, which have become one of the most widely used tools in biomedical research and, upon recently entering clinical testing, are providing a long-sought hope of cures for several currently untreatable and otherwise deadly human diseases. Throughout this time, he has continued to investigate new strategies to overcome the major hurdles to safe and effective gene transfer, bringing about innovative solutions that not only are being translated into new therapeutic strategies for genetic disease and cancer, but have also allowed novel insights into hematopoietic stem cell function, induction of immunological tolerance, and tumor angiogenesis. In his early career, he identified the ligand for the Met receptor with hepatocyte growth factor.
Luigi received his medical degree from the University of Torino, Italy, and his PhD from the University of Rome. He completed postdoctoral work in the United States with Yossi Schlessinger, was a visiting scientist with Inder Verma and Didier Trono at the Salk Institute, and subsequently had independent appointments at Cell Genesys in California and at the University of Torino.