Dr Faris 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.