A Chicago-based advertising executive specializing in billboards, James “Jim” Neumann serves as president of OOS Investments. Outside of his work, James Neumann supports the efforts of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Currently the largest pediatric medical research organization in the United States, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital sponsors a wide variety of research in the field of gene therapy. Until recently, children with inherited genetic diseases had few treatment options, most of which focused on controlling symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause. Gene therapy provides a way to introduce new genetic material into a patient’s cells, potentially alleviating symptoms of the disorder or reversing the disease course altogether.
In recent years, St. Jude has led gene therapy research efforts for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a devastating immune disorder requiring isolation from otherwise normal situations. In 2016, researchers at St. Jude announced that patients with X-linked SCID who had undergone gene therapy demonstrated a high level of immune function two years later, with an additional three patients showing positive changes after six to nine months. Although more research must be done, researchers at St. Jude are optimistic about the potential of gene therapy to treat genetic disorders.