Jennifer Adair Fred Hutch

Fred Hutch’s Dr. Jennifer Adair stands before the portable “gene therapy in a box” device that she began developing when she became head of her own lab in 2014 | Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

The latest episode of The Stem Cell podcast, alongside the latest news from the world of stem cells, features an interview with gene therapy hero Jennifer Adair, of the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center. Back in October, Jennifer and her group revealed a portable “gene therapy in a box” device that could bring the benefits of highly tailored cancer and HIV therapies to even the poorest countries. Published in Nature Communications, the work was hailed “truly transformative”, with the potential to change the way that cell and gene therapy products are manufactured and delivered. 

“We either had to think about how to build million-dollar infrastructure and clean-room facilities in clinics all around the world, which is not feasible, or we had to think about simplifying this process into what I originally envisioned as a black box,” she said, speaking at the time of publication. “This was the first proof that ‘gene therapy in a box’ could work. Gene therapies or cell therapies that involve genetically modified cells are not restricted to a very small number of highly sophisticated facilities anymore.”