KEYNOTE LECTURE

April 10th
09:00-09:40 AM EEST UTC+3
Virtual Conference

Developing oncolytic viruses

One of the more innovative weapons in our anticancer armamentarium are oncolytic viruses. Their rationale as an anticancer therapy is that once a cancer cell is infected, the virus replicates until the cancer cell eventually dies by lysis. As cell lysis is also an immunogenic process, the immune system is potentially stimulated to target cancer cells, too.

 

Recent developments in research into viruses’ capability to destroy cancer cells have shown that oncolytic virotherapy has the potential to become a sustainable alternative to existing therapies. Using a self-amplifying antitumor agent that selectively replicates in cancer cells and avoids destroying healthy tissue offers obvious therapeutic advantages. The progress in the field of molecular biology allowed for both a deeper understanding of the biology of viruses and their subsequent engineering.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER

Mihnea Boștină

Dr. Mihnea Boștină is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand and Academic Director of the Otago Center for Electron Microscopy. He previously worked as a researcher at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, at Harvard Medical School in the US and at Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik in Frankfurt, Germany.

Dr. Boștină’s lab conducts research focusing on understanding molecular architectures and relating those structures to their functional mechanisms, currently exploring bacteriophages, the Seneca Valley Virus, Iridovirus and Oryctes nudivirus. With only three oncolytic viral drugs approved on the market at the moment, Dr. Boștină and his colleagues are working on furthering research and knowledge in this field and developing the next generation of oncolytic viral drugs.