The Shell Center for Gene Therapy provides the environment for pre-clinical and basic science research. Optimizing the therapeutic potential of the cell and gene therapy requires a fundamental understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of disease as well as expertise in the gene transduction (transfer) techniques, transgene regulation, vector targeting, stem cell biology, cellular immunology, and stem cell transplantation. Advances in these areas will be critical for most cell and gene therapy strategies.
Baylor College of Medicine has made a significant long-term commitment to further enhance the basic research areas related to cell and gene therapy including the identification of genes, gene expression and regulation, target cell identification, development of animal models of disease, and vector development and large scale production.
In addition, the Vector Development Core consists of three investigators and seven additional scientific staff. The core will work with investigators throughout the institution to prepare a range of vectors expressing genes of interest, as well as improving the function of currently available vector systems. The core will import newly discovered vector systems and develop them for clinical use. The 12,000-square-foot Shell Center for Gene Therapy is housed in the Alkek Building on Baylor's main campus.