Imperial College London

Emeritus ProfessorCharlesCoutelle

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Emeritus Professor



+44 (0)7906 614 491c.coutelle




Open SpaceSir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Charles Coutelle, MD, DSc, is Emeritus Professor of Gene Therapy at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

He studied Medicine at the Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Germany and received his MD in 1963.  After several years of clinical work at the Charité Hospital, Humboldt University Berlin, he took up postgraduate training in Biochemistry at the Institute for Biochemistry  and was awarded his DSc. in this field in 1974. In 1973 he moved to the Central Institute of Molecular Biology of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR in Berlin Buch, where he became Professor in 1981 and worked as Head of the Department of Molecular Human Genetics on problems of gene expression, human gene mapping and DNA diagnostic of human genetic disease.

In 1992 he accepted the position of director of the newly founded Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Group at St Mary's Hospital, London, which conducted the first clinical gene therapy trial for cystic fibrosis with non-viral vectors in collaboration with two other British groups. Following this study, he turned with his Gene Therapy Research Group at Imperial College to more fundamental questions of the development of viral and non-viral vector systems for gene therapy and animal models for gene therapy of genetic diseases (cystic fibrosis, DMD, haemophilia). In the last 15 years of his career he led several projects to study prenatal gene therapy as an approach to prevention of severe early-manifesting human genetic disorders.

Professor Coutelle retired in 2008. His main interest remains gene therapy for human genetic disease with particular emphasis on prenatal gene therapy and novel vector systems.

He is  founding member of the British Society for Gene Therapy and the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and is Fellow of the Leibnitz Society Berlin. He is also on the Editorial Boards of the Journals Gene Therapy and J. Gene Medicine.



Coutelle C, 2023, Comment on the the paper Persecutee in the Third Reich, full professor in the GDR: The communist physician Carl Coutelle (1908-1993) and his post-war career as pathologist by Nico Biermanns and Dominik Groβ. Pathol. Res. Pract. (2023) 246 154487, Pathology Research and Practice, Vol:248, ISSN:0344-0338

Al-Allaf FA, Abduljaleel Z, Athar M, et al., 2019, Modifying inter-cistronic sequence significantly enhances IRES dependent second gene expression in bicistronic vector: Construction of optimised cassette for gene therapy of familial hypercholesterolemia, Non-coding Rna Research, Vol:4, ISSN:2468-2160, Pages:1-14

Coutelle C, 2018, An important step on the long path to clinical application of in utero gene therapy, Gene Therapy, Vol:25, ISSN:0969-7128, Pages:451-453

Condiotti R, Goldenberg D, Giladi H, et al., 2014, Transduction of Fetal Mice With a Feline Lentiviral Vector Induces Liver Tumors Which Exhibit an E2F Activation Signature, Molecular Therapy, Vol:22, ISSN:1525-0016, Pages:59-68

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