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Oncolytic Virotherapy


Dr Farassati

Molecular Medicine, MBRF-STL, United States

Dr Farassati

Editor-in-Chief: Dr Faris Farassati

Dr Faris Farassati is an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas Medical School and the director of the Molecular Medicine Laboratory at this institute. He is a translational cancer scientist focusing on intervention with pro-oncogenic cell signaling machinery in order to treat human malignancies. Therapeutic targets which are identified to be "Cancer-Specific" will be pursued by both gene and drug therapy methods by Dr Farassati's team towards designing a comprehensive translational strategy. Transcriptional targeting of Oncolytic Viruses is a major focus of research for Dr Farassati's group. Ras signaling pathway, as the most important pro-oncogenic signaling pathway involved in generation of human cancers, has been defined as a target for a mutant versions of Herpes Simplex Virus-1(HSV-1). This Ras-Smart virus is named as "Signal-Smart 1" or SS1 virus. Other versions of Oncolytic Viruses developed in this lab include HSV-1 mutants capable of targeting Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) in a cell-specific manner. These viruses are being developed with the purpose of eliminating CSCs as the main fraction of cells within tumors in charge of repopulating tumors and maintaining different cell types which compose the histological structure of the tumor. Since no therapies currently exist to specifically target CSCs, development of Oncolytic Viruses with such ability can deliver significant potentials for highly effective cancer therapy.


Dr Alain

Biochemistry Microbiology and Immunology, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and University of Ottawa, Canada

Dr Alain

Associate Editor: Dr. Tommy Alain

Dr. Tommy Alain is a Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO RI), and an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. His training is in virology, innate immune responses, cell biology, and oncology. Dr. Alain received his B.Sc. (2000) in Biochemistry from University Laval in Quebec City, Canada, and his Ph.D. (2007) in Medical Science from the University of Calgary, Canada. During his Ph.D. research, Dr. Alain studied the virology and the oncolytic potencies of reovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, herpes simplex virus and myxoma virus against brain cancers at the University of Calgary. From 2007 to 2013, Dr. Alain pursued post-doctoral work at McGill University studying mRNA translational control and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, linking both viral immunity and oncology research. His current research in Ottawa focuses on exploiting translation initiation factors and downstream effectors of mTOR complex 1 to modulate innate immune responses to oncolytic viruses, and to augment the anti-proliferative efficacies of cancer therapeutics. Dr. Alain is a member of the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, a group of scientists from across Canada that seeks to understand, improve, and develop oncolytic viral immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer.


Prof. Dr. Kyritsis

Neurology, University of Ioannina, Greece

Prof. Dr. Kyritsis

Associate Editor: Athanassios P. Kyritsis

Dr. Kyritsis is currently Professor and Chairman of Neurology at the University Hospital of Ioannina and Director of the Neurosurgical Research Institute of the University of Ioannina, Greece. He  received his  MD from the Medical School of University of Athens, Greece, in 1978 and his DSc degree from the same University in 1988. After he served his obligation to the Greek Army from 1979 to 1981 as medical officer, he moved in 1981 to Bethesda, Maryland for a fellowship at the National Eye Institute, NIH, where he was trained into basic biochemistry and biology and did research on retinoblastoma in vitro. From 1986 to 1990 he underwent a residency in Neurology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Subsequently, from 1990 to 1992 he undertook a clinical fellowship in the Department of Neuro-Oncology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and then he served as Assistant and Associate Professor in the same department from 1992 to 1999. In 1999 he moved to the Department of Neurology at the University of Ioannina, Greece, as Professor and Chairman of Neurology.


The genetic contribution in the development of neural tumors was one of the first targets of his research starting at NIH with the investigation of the cell of origin of retinoblastoma. During his tenure at the MDACC, he was heavily involved in characterization of various genetic abnormalities in gliomas and their prognostic significance. Furthermore, a major direction of his research was shaped towards using the genetic abnormalities in gliomas to develop possible gene therapies, employing adenoviruses carrying tumor suppressor genes.  In addition, he developed during 1995-1999 a mutant adenovirus (Delta-24) capable of infecting and killing glioma cells but with no harm to normal brain cells. This virus which was developed with the help of a postdoctoral fellow in his lab, Dr. Juan Fueyo, is currently in clinical trials in cancer patients.


His recent research is focusing on the contribution of a superfast cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry during surgery that could differentiate low-grade from high-grade gliomas and benign from atypical/anaplastic meningiomas. Based on this work, his research group is interested in the development of a device which in real-time could determine the tumor margins during surgery, a possible breakthrough in intraoperative guidance for brain tumor removal. 


Dr Yun

Bioengineering, Hanyang University, Korea, Republic of (South)

Dr Yun

Associate Editor:  Chae-Ok Yun

Chae-Ok Yun is currently a Professor of Bioengineering at Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceuticals and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States, an Affiliate Professor of Medicine at University of Washington, United States, a Guest Professor of Sichuan University, China, and an Adjunct Professor of Genomics at Yonsei University. She received her BS (1986) and MS (1988) degree in Molecular Biology from Sogang University, Seoul, Korea. In 1996, she received her Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, United States. From 1996 to 1998, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and then served as a Research Associate in Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, until 2000. She next moved back to Seoul, Korea where she was firstly Assistant Professor (2000), Associate Professor (2005), Professor (2010) at Yonsei University College of Medicine, and then Professor (2011) at Hanyang University.

She has served as Deputy Editor of Molecular Therapy (2010-), Associate Editor of BMC Cancer (2010-) and Cancer Gene Therapy (2013-), and Editorial Board member of Journal of Controlled Release (2010-), Gene Therapy and Regulation (2010-), Oncolytic Virotherapy (2012-), International Journal of Cancer Research & Diagnosis (2013-), Regenerative Therapy(2016-),  and Advanced Drug Delivery Review (2016-),.

She was awarded the Excellence in Research Award from the American Society of Gene Therapy in 2002 and Excellent Professor in Research Achievement from Yonsei University in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2011. She received the Bowon Award for Best Research Activity from Yonsei University in 2007. She also was awarded the Excellence in Research Award from Korean Society of Gene Therapy (2011, 2012, and 2014) and Korean Government Ministry award from Ministry of Science (2013). Her research interests include cancer gene therapy, immunotherapy, angiogenesis, combination of viral vectors and non-viral vectors, nanomedicine, and tumor biology. One of her gene therapeutics is in clinical trials against cancer patients.


Editorial Board

Jose María Almendral del Río, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Virology, Department of Molecular Biology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Laure Aurelian, Professor of Pharmacology and Microbiology and Immunology, Member of the Greenebaum Cancer Center and the Neuroscience Program, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Michael A Barry, Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Madan Chaturvedi, Professor of Zoology, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Blossom Andrea Damania, Full Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Member, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC, USA

ChangYuan Dong, Professor, Lab. of Molecular Virus & Cancer, State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People's Republic of China

Mark Alan Feitelson, Professor of Biology, College of Science and Technology, Department of Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Shou-Jiang Gao, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dror Harats, Professor of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS, Chief Surgical Officer and Associate Director for Clinical Science, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Professor, Department of Surgery, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Natalia L Komarova, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of California - Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Ken-ichiro Kosai, Professor and Chairman, Department of Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine; Director, Center for Innovative Therapy Research and Application, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan

Choon-Taek Lee, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Department of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea

Maciej Lesniak, Michael J. Marchese Professor and Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

Grant McFadden, Director, Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines, and Virotherapy (B-CIVV) The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Jean Rommelaere, Professor, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

Brian Wigdahl, Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Khatijah Yusoff, Professor, Department of Microbiology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

Xiaoliu Shaun Zhang, Professor, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA