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Scientist Jim Wilson is synonymous with gene therapy — and for good reason.

For decades, the celebrated researcher has been a pioneer in the field, focused on the development of treatments for rare, often overlooked diseases. His work has generated millions of dollars for his employer, the University of Pennsylvania, and made Wilson a towering figure in the gene therapy world, with the wealth and fame to match.


But a STAT investigation reveals Wilson’s success has obscured a darker side to his leadership of the Gene Therapy Program, the acclaimed university research center he runs — a style that for years permitted toxicity and mismanagement to roil the workflow of lab experiments and research inside the program’s facilities on the leafy Philadelphia campus.

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