We mourn the loss of our dear friend, mentor, eminent scientist, co-founder and CEO Dr. Manfred Schmidt. Manfred, age 54, passed away on January 13th, 2022. On behalf of the entire GeneWerk (now ProtaGene) team, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife and to his family, friends and colleagues. With deep affection and much respect, we need to say goodbye to an extraordinary person.
Dr. Manfred Schmidt was the Co-Founder and CEO of GeneWerk GmbH. For more than two decades, he was a true pioneer of cell and gene therapy field – with more than 25 years of very successful experience in this field – spanning R&D, clinical medicine, assay development and commercialization.
Academically his most recent role had been the Section Head of Molecular and Gene Therapy at the German Cancer Research Center, also part of the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Heidelberg, Germany. Manfred was a co-inventor leading to the patents leading to the development of Linear Amplification-Mediated PCR (LAM-PCR) which has allowed the advances of clinical trials of insertional vector systems in critical times, allowing the highly sensitive identification and sequencing of vector integrations in limited tissue amounts.
The application of LAM-PCR and its follow up developments, in which Manfred has been instrumental, have been widely used in preclinical and clinical vector safety assessment of cell and gene therapy. The analysis of the efficiency and safety of vector systems for the clinical gene therapy combined with the application of the high throughput sequencing technologies and the development of project specific bioinformatical analysis and data management systems were his major research area.
Manfred was an author of more than 120 peer-reviewed publications in international high-impact journals. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Freiburg, and a Diploma degree in Biology by the University Hohenheim, Germany.
As a Scientific mentor he has played a central role for many of the scientists from the GeneWerk family (now ProtaGene). He helped shape their career and inspired them to push the envelope of technologies towards developing safer gene therapeutics for patients.
As a conscientious personality, in more recent times he has passed on his knowledge and his wealth of experience to the leading employees of the new ProtaGene family. It will be an honor and an obligation for us, to continue with our work in his spirit and to add to the further development of his research field.
He will be missed a lot, as a brilliant scientist, a thoughtful leader of our company and a beloved friend.
If you would like to get in touch with his family, please send an email or card to email@example.com
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