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16 April 2020

Live and Let Live: The Remarkable Story of HEK293 Cells


Sponsored/Human Gene Therapy/16 April 2020/Issue Vol. 31, No. 7-8

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How a single cell line lit the spark that turned gene therapies from theoretical possibility to therapeutic reality.

All scientists dream of making an impact. Few can look back and identify a single experiment that led to the creation of an entire scientific field.

When Frank Graham set out to transform human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells with adenoviral DNA in early 1973, he was trying to understand why some adenoviruses caused cancer and some didn't. He wasn't trying to set in motion the creation of a new field of medical research, with a multibillion-dollar market value. But that's exactly what he did.

View the paper in full here.