It is especially gratifying to read about the accomplishments of fellow pediatric surgeon Bill Peranteau ’97 in the fields of clinical fetal surgery and research into gene-editing for genetic defects, as reported in the April 8, 2020 issue of the PAW.
I trained at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) at a time when the major defects of heart, lungs, diaphragm, intestine, and spinal cord could be corrected only after the birth of a tiny infant patient. Repair of these defects was challenging, and I had wished they could have been corrected before birth, even before they manifested themselves clinically. Scott Adzick, now chief of surgery at CHOP, was one of the pioneers of fetal surgery, for which there are now specialty centers around the world.
I am well acquainted with the field of genetic engineering: A research physician friend and colleague, W. French Anderson, was the first to treat a patient using human gene therapy; my wife’s medical publishing company, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., launched the first journal, Human Gene Therapy. She now also publishes The CRISPR Journal, which documents the research and applications of new gene editing modalities.