Viral Infectious Diseases & Oncolytic Viro-Immunotherapy Internship Training Program

The aim of this program is to provide students with interests in virology and immunology with the opportunity to study: (1) emerging/re-emerging viral diseases and (2) oncolytic viro-immunotherapy.

Emerging and re-emerging viral infections represent a global threat to public health. Understanding the pathogenesis and development of vaccines and antivirals are especially important for viral infections that are without effective/FDA-approved immunization or specific treatments. Students working on this project will get to explore the mechanism of pathogenesis of such viral diseases, examine the underlying interplay between host factors and the viral infection, and further establish models for antiviral screening, vaccine development, and additional public health-related applications.

Oncolytic viro-immunotherapy using viruses that preferentially target and kill cancer cells represents a novel therapy for the management of cancers. Significant challenges that remain include enhancing cancer cell-targeting specificity and increasing tumor-killing efficiency. Students in this project will learn about the principles and development of oncolytic viro-immunotherapy, and explore strategies in enhancing its efficacy and the role of immune response.

The students will undergo training in laboratory safety and experimental procedures such as basic molecular cell biology and virology techniques, viral modeling, antiviral testing, and oncolytic vector development/characterization. Additional training in data analysis and laboratory presentation skills are also included.

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