Former F.M. Kirby Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology and Cell and Developmental Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
2023 Recipient, Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine
Dr. Bennett most recently was F.M. Kirby Professor of Opthalmology at Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, where she also was director of the Center for Molecular Opthalmology and vice chair for basic research in the Department of Ophthalmology. She spent three decades developing gene-based strategies for treating inherited retinal degenerations. At Perelman, she ran a true bench-to-bedside translational research program and, in the process, trained hundreds of physician-scientists. She was the scientific leader of a team that translated reversal of blindness in animal models into demonstration of efficacy and safety of gene therapy in children and adults. She also was the scientific director, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, of clinical studies that led to the first FDA-approved gene therapy product for a genetic disease (LuxturnaTM); Dr. Bennett helped develop the primary outcome measure for the clinical trial. In spending many years developing gene-based therapies for retinal degenerative diseases, Dr. Bennett tackled important limitations of current gene therapy technologies. She retired from full-time work in 2023, and you can read more about her here.