Leading the worldwide fight to treat and cure
Tay-Sachs, Canavan, GM1 and Sandhoff diseases

Imagine & Believe 2022

On Thursday, November 10, 2022, the NTSAD Community will gather at the Royal Sonesta in Boston for the first in-person Imagine & Believe event in three years to commemorate NTSAD’s 65th Anniversary. At the event, which raises funds for programs and services, NTSAD will honor research pioneer Guangping Gao PhD for revitalizing gene therapy and potential treatments for rare diseases, including his research toward treatments for Canavan Disease. 

More details including sponsorship levels and tickets prices to come!

Watch last year's Imagine & Believe videos.

Guangping Gao PhD

Dr. Gao is the Co-Director, Li Weibo Institute for Rare Diseases Research, Director, Horae Gene Therapy Center and Viral Vector Core, Professor of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, Penelope Booth Rockwell Professor in Biomedical Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Gao started studying Canavan disease in 1989 and discovered the gene and its mutations in 1993. He discovered the vector (AAV9) for efficient delivering the therapeutic gene to the brain via intravenous injection in 2004 and developed an optimized effective Canavan gene therapy in 2017. His work was licensed by Aspa Therapeutics where clinical trials have begun. 

His dedication and compassion are unparalleled as many families can attest. NTSAD remains grateful to Dr. Gao for his many contributions benefitting the NTSAD Community–from establishing the Gao Lab at the Horae Gene Therapy Center at UMASS, to mentoring the next generation of researchers, and serving as a trusted expert for families. 
Furthermore, Dr. Gao is prolific in the number of biotech patents he holds, which total more than 130 with additional patents pending, as well as many research papers and publications. He also is the former President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and co-founded Voyager Therapeutics. Recently BioSpace, a digital magazine, published an article about Dr. Gao highlighting his career and two life-changing experiences, including working on a farm, and living in a barn in China as a teen, and meeting a Canavan family 15 years ago (Sherri Sigel, whose daughter Rachel Epstein has Canavan, and her daughter Jessica who worked in Dr. Gao’s lab). Read the article.
Please join us in honoring Dr. Gao at the 65th Anniversary Imagine & Believe event.  

How to Support

Sponsor Imagine & Believe


For more information or questions, please email skeliher@ntsad.org.