Gene Therapy

By: Mercedes Connelly and Alexandra Harris

Important dates in the discovery of gene therapy

"Gene surgery" was first proposed by scientists in the early 1970s for treating inherited diseases caused by faulty genes.


However, in 1983, a group of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, proposed that gene therapy could one day be a viable approach for treating Lesch-Nyan disease.

Contributors to the discovery of gene therapy

A group of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, conducted many experiments in which an enzyme-producing gene for correcting the disease was injected into a group of cells.


Scientist W. French Anderson and colleagues first performed gene therapy in the United States on September 17,1990 on a four-year old girl suffering from a genetic disorder.

Contribution in modern day biotechnology

Gene therapy is important to biotechnology today because it allows genes to be inserted into the genome in order to replace genes that are not functioning.


Gene therapy can also allow the regulation of genes to be changed.



It can be used as treatment in Parkinson’s disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and many more.


It has treated sickle cell disease in mice and has great potential for the future.