Departamento de Biología Molecular (UAM)
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFER
The recent commercialization of the first gene therapy products has revived interest in advancing viral synthetic biology design concepts to engineer improved vectors, both as therapeutic agents as well as research tools. Two major hurdles currently impeding the efficacy of viral vectors are inefficient spread and low target specificity. One current tendency is to solve the first problem simply by increasing vector dose, but several studies already indicate that this exacerbates the second problem, with lethal off-target consequences in some cases. We are investigating alternative strategies to augment spread by constructing chimeric vectors which combine genetic elements derived from multiple viral species. To address target specificity we are investigating the impact on transgene expression, of pro-inflammatory stimuli including vector infection itself, and how this varies among different cell types such as neurons v glia, or epithelia.
Biomolecules & Cell D.