Engineering selective infection

Engineering selective infection

How viruses infect cells is key to developing safe oncolytic viral therapies. In this post we discuss how viruses can be engineered to target cancer cells. The infection process begins when a virus recognizes and attaches to a host cell. This attachment is typically mediated by viral proteins known as glycoproteins, which specifically bind to receptors on the surface of the target cell. These glycoproteins act like keys, unlocking the door to the cell by interacting with specific cell surface…

AACR poster session review

AACR poster session review

We were thrilled to present a poster of our work at AACR. It is one of the biggest conferences on cancer research, with 22,000 visitors. To get accepted, we had to write an abstract, which was reviewed, and we needed to be sponsored by an existing member. For us this was Dr. Sanjeev Vasudevan, whom we work with at Texas Children’s. Our poster gave a brief overview on our platform and the work we have done on Hepatoblastoma (liver cancer…

Presenting at AACR

Presenting at AACR

We are excited to announce we are presenting at the AACR annual meeting for the first time. AACR is the American Association for Cancer Research and its meeting is the largest in the world of cancer research. Last year, over 20,000 scientists, clinicians and other health care professionals, and survivors and patient advocates from around the world traveled to New Orleans. The AACR meeting for 2023 is held in Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida and we have been invited…

Introduction – Brenda

Introduction – Brenda

Q: Tell me a bit about yourself Hello! My name is Brenda and I grew up in Montgomery County Maryland. I spent a lot of my weekends visiting DC going to museums and visiting monuments nearby. The National Museum of Natural History is where I first fell in love with research and it helped shape a lot of my interests and career path. The exhibits and stories they told sparked my curiosity for science and discovery. When I visit home…

Rational Design of Oncolytic Viruses

Rational Design of Oncolytic Viruses

In this post we give an overview of the history of using viruses as potential treatment for cancer. We also outline the challenges a great viral therapy needs to overcome. Last, we review our approach to rationally design and engineer safe and effective oncolytic viruses. History and current state Since the middle of the last century there has been anecdotal evidence that virus infections can help in curing or slowing down cancer. Unfortunately these infections happened randomly and the results…

Our platform

Our platform

In this post, I would like to introduce the Humane Genomics Artificial Virus Platform. Why develop an artificial virus platform? For decades, a lot of research has been conducted to see if natural viruses can be used as cancer therapeutics, with limited success. Over the last 10 years, the technology to engineer, to build viruses specifically as cancer therapeutics has matured. However, most technology approaches to make these viruses are complicated, error prone, time consuming and expensive. To address these…

Introduction – Rupsa

Introduction – Rupsa

Q: Tell me a bit about yourself. My name is Rupsa Basu and I am a viral immunologist by passion and a backpacker at heart. My mantra of life is to dream, believe and achieve. As a seven years old kid, I started dreaming about becoming a scientist and developed an increased interest in reading science fiction and detective fiction stories. After reading the book “Selfish Gene” in elementary school, I got inspired with nature’s scientific secrets and slowly idolized…

Year in review 2020

Year in review 2020

  Looking back, 2020 was quite the year. We designed 200 unique oncolytic viruses, and we confirmed 163 viruses are working (replication competent) in the lab. Among these, we engineered 42 glycoproteins, 29 promoters and 14 therapeutic genes. We generated more than 10 billion virus particles over the year, which we tested in 11 research cell lines and 8 patient derived cells. Building on our in vitro success, we also conducted 2 mouse studies. How did the year unfold chronologically?…

Introduction – Taylor

Introduction – Taylor

Q: Tell me a bit about yourself. My name is Taylor Flaat and I am from Panama City Beach, Florida, although I was actually born in Grand Forks, North Dakota. We moved from Grand Forks when I was just two years old and my family has been in Panama City ever since. I grew up an avid fisherman and baseball player, with my favorite food definitely being the homestyle cooking of my mom and grandma! I did my undergraduate degree…

Last update on our COVID-19 vaccine

Last update on our COVID-19 vaccine

It has been almost 7 months since the last update of our work on the COVID-19 vaccine candidate. In this post, we share the results and what we have learned. Because there are several other vaccines available that are highly effective against SARS-CoV-2, we decided to stop further research on our vaccine and to focus on developing cancer therapies. We will explain more about our decision in this post. First, a brief reminder on why we decided to make a…