In 2010 a transformative donation from the Mead Family Foundation helped to establish the Mead Cellular Therapies Laboratory, a brand-new gene and cell therapy facility at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
As understanding of human genetics increases, so too does the potential for these new therapies - by understanding which genes cause a disease, researchers and clinicians can understand which gene could be corrected using gene therapy. This can be a lifeline for children with immune diseases, cancer and other rare childhood disorders where, in some cases, there were previously few treatment options.
Great Ormond Street Hospital houses one of the most successful and innovative gene and cell therapy programmes in the world and the existence of the Mead Cellular Therapies Laboratory has played a significant part in supporting this work. Eight years on, activity in the laboratory to date includes production of T-cells (disease-fighting cells within the immune system) for a clinical trial investigating whether they can be reprogrammed to target and kill cancer cells, and research into a new gene therapy treatment for the rare but severe skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
As well as the Gene & Cell Therapy Laboratories, the Foundation has supported the participatory programme GOSH Arts, and was instrumental in its early years. Read more about GOSH Arts here.