Designing, engineering and testing of targeted strains of vaccinia virus to act as oncolytic agents for the treatment of cancer, with special emphasis on;
- Enhancing systemic delivery, especially in the face of anti-viral immunity.
- Enhancing early viral spread in the tumor microenvironment.
- Optimizing viral interaction with the host immune response
- Development of novel transgenes to be expressed from oncolytic virus vectors, especially constructs capable of inducing a targeted and localized bystander killing effect.
- Effects of exogenously regulating oncolytic vector transgene function.
- Effects of combining oncolytic viruses with approved and experimental therapies, especially;
- Immune cell therapies, both as combination cancer therapies and the use of immune cells as carrier vehicles to deliver viruses to tumors.
- Cancer vaccines.
- Chemotherapies, including taxols and cisplatin.
- Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors.
- Monoclonal antibodies, especially anti-immune checkpoint inhibitors.
- Examination of host-pathogen interactions.
- Use and development of pre-clinical imaging tools (especially optical imaging) to non-invasively examine molecular events in vivo.