Join Us at AACR 2024: Celebrating Progress in Cancer Research

Join Us at AACR 2024: Celebrating Progress in Cancer Research

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re returning to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting for the second time! It’s an honor to be invited back to this prestigious event where we’ll be showcasing our groundbreaking work in the field of cancer therapeutics. AACR is the largest gathering of cancer researchers, clinicians, survivors, and advocates in the world, with over 20,000 attendees.  Our Progress Since Last Year Last year’s experience in Orlando was unforgettable. We connected with fellow…

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…

Regulating viral replication using RNA aptazymes

Regulating viral replication using RNA aptazymes

The biggest problem in cancer therapeutics is selectivity. Using oncolytic viral therapies, high selectivity can be achieved using the combination of selective infection and selective replication. Here, we want to address selective replication. For DNA viruses, this can be accomplished with promoters to control transcription and genome replication.  However, for RNA viruses, this does not work. A potential solution to control replication for RNA viruses is the use of aptazymes. Aptazymes are self-cleaving units composed of a riboswitch and an aptamer….

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…

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…