Volunteer Rockstars

Meet Dominic Gessler, MD, PhD: ASGCT Volunteer Rockstar

November 02, 2023

In a November 2023 installment of our series highlighting ASGCT member volunteers, meet Dominic Gessler, MD, PhD, chair of the Society's Trainee Committee.

ASGCT is a volunteer-led organization, and it could not effectively pursue its mission and strategic vision without the commitment of its volunteers. The Society does so through 32 standing, scientific, and board committees supported by more than 400 member volunteers.  We recognize our committee leaders for their time, commitment, and expertise, and appreciate their willingness to help ASGCT advance the field of gene and cell therapy in a unique and meaningful way.  

Dominic Gessler, MD, PhD, is a Gene Therapy Fellow at UMass Chan Medical School. Dr. Gessler attended Medical School at the University of Heidelberg and University of Massachusetts (UMass), with clinical experience in Germany, India, and the U.S. 

During medical school, Dr. Gessler joined Dr. Guangping Gao’s laboratory at the Horae Gene Therapy Center and the Li Weibo Institute for Rare Diseases Research at UMass to develop gene therapy for disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) and study mechanisms for pathological processes with a primary focus on Canavan disease. His research led to the most-recently developed gene therapy of Canavan disease. In addition to Canavan Disease, Dr. Gessler’s research areas include gene therapy for other metabolic and disorders of the central nervous system, N-acetylaspartate metabolism, brain energy metabolism, and in vivo cell reprogramming. 

Dr. Gessler leads the Trainee Committee to advise ASGCT  on issues specifically relevant to training and career development, as well as provide trainee perspectives to the Society. The Committee develops Annual Meeting programming and other trainee-specific networking events. Dr. Gessler’s committee is currently working on a podcast series with ASGCT on "How to Make the Most of Your Annual Meeting."  

As ASGCT continues to grow, Dr. Gessler and the Trainee Committee ensure that the voices of students, post-docs, and early career investigators are heard and included in the Society. 


ASGCT thanks Dr. Gessler for his service on ASGCT’s Trainee Committee. Our members serve as subject matter experts for Society-led projects, including Annual Meeting programming, through both our standing committees and scientific committees and we could not do the work we do without them.  

For questions on ASGCT committees or volunteer process, please contact Dani Gale (dgale@asgct.org). 

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