Jesse Gelsinger

LynseeDevers, KatieLane, JonThompson, EvanHart, AshlenCramer

Jesse's Case

Jesse Gelsinger was an 18 year old with a rare liver disorder. He had a minor case of the disorder, but he decided that he would participate in an experiment to hopefully help others with more major disorders like his. There were three levels of dosages available for this particular trial. Even though he had a less severe case of this disorder, he received the highest dosage. Others who had been experimenting for a while had not had complications.


Within 24 hours of being injected, Gelsinger was already having complications. His liver's condition began to worsen and caused him to slip into a coma. Eventually, multiple organs began failing. Four days after his injection, his body had swelled so terribly that he could not be recognized and he was showing no sign of brain activity. Jesse's father, with the help of the medical team, decided to take him off of life support. He died almost instantly.


Gelsinger's case opened up many questions about the trial. All doses for others taking the adenovirus injection were lowered. Agencies found that deaths in different trials had not been reported. Researchers thought these trials were not directly related to the treatment itself. Reports of adverse reactions or deaths that were recorded were actually kept confidential upon the request of those filing the reports. This brought up many questions among people, many of who believed sharing this information could have saved Jesse's life. Sharing information about gene therapy trials is imperative to prevent something like this from ever happening again.


  • Jesse
  • Jesse's family
  • Others being tested
  • Doctors
  • Inventors of the adenovirus