2023 Inductees

William Hauswirth

William Hauswirth, Ph.D.

Professor and Maida and Morris Rybaczki Eminent Scholar Chair in Ophthalmic Sciences
University of Florida College of Medicine

20 U.S. Patents

William W. Hauswirth, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Maida and Morris Rybaczki Eminent Scholar Chair in Ophthalmic Sciences at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. He is also the co-founder of Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), which develops gene therapies that transform the lives of patients worldwide.

Dr. Hauswirth’s pioneering work in gene therapy over the past several decades has contributed to restoring vision to the functionally blind. Using the Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) vectors as platforms for delivering DNA to targeted cells, Dr. Hauswirth has been able to develop novel gene therapies for disorders affecting essentially all parts of the eye. Most significantly, his groundbreaking development of Luxturna® was the first gene-therapy drug to treat children and adults with inherited retinal disease. His patents have been licensed to more than a dozen companies. He has also created five other gene therapies to treat different forms of genetic blindness that are currently undergoing human clinical trials.

Dr. Hauswirth has an extensive history of sustained discoveries in the delivery and testing of potentially therapeutic genes for Dominant, Recessive and X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa; Leber Congenital Amaurosis; Achromatopsia; Blue Cone Monochromacy; Usher Disease; Macular Degeneration; Diabetic Retinopathy; Glaucoma and Optic Neuropathies in natural and transgenic animal models for each of these human diseases. Moreover, he has been and currently serves as the Principal Investigator on dozens of National Institutes of Health and private foundation grants supporting this work. He also collaborates with more than 70 other researchers around the world to design specific AAV vectors (roughly 100 per year) to assist with global transdisciplinary research efforts.

Dr. Hauswirth has been recognized in numerous publications for his scientific breakthroughs. He was cited in Science Magazine’s “A Decade of Breakthroughs”; he was featured in Time Magazine’s Third Most Important Discovery of 2009; and that same year he was named Florida Scientist of the Year by Florida Trend Magazine. In 2016, Dr. Hauswirth received a Papal Invitation to the Vatican Conference on Regenerative Medicine. He is a Fellow of ARVO-Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alcon Award for Vision Research, the Foundation Fighting Blindness Trustees Award, and the John Kayser International award for Retinal Research, as well as several Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Dr. Hauswirth holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University. He completed post-doctoral work at Johns Hopkins University.