Friday, January 22, 2010 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Featuring Pin Wang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
University of Southern California
Location: PCB 1200
Free and open to the public
Gene therapy is a promising form of medicine that has great potential to treat various inherited and acquired diseases. The basic procedure of gene therapy is to introduce genetic materials such as DNA, RNA, siRNA, or miRNA, into target cells to either cure diseases or slow down the progression of diseases. A key component of gene therapy is the delivery vector which carries the genetic payload and promotes the transduction of cells to achieve therapeutic effects. Synthetic and viral vectors are two primary delivery vehicles that are currently exploited for gene therapy. In this talk, I will illustrate some of our ongoing efforts on utilizing design principles to engineer lentiviral vectors for targeted gene delivery and directed vaccine. The talk will begin with a general method we developed to transductionally target lentivectors to specific cells by separating the functions of specific binding and molecular fusion onto two distinct molecules. This targeting strategy offers two major advantages: flexibility, which is afforded by the ease of combining the antibody, or other binding protein, with the fusogenic molecule, and broadness, which is provided by the availability of monoclonal antibodies or ligands for many endocytosed cell-specific surface molecules. I will then talk about our approaches to transductionally target lentivectors to dendritic cells by reengineering a viral attachment protein that has multiple receptors to use only a single receptor. We demonstrate that lentivectors enveloped with a reengineered Sindbis virus glycoprotein can target dendritic cells through the DC-SIGN receptor. This lentivector system provides a new platform for the development of novel vectored vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases.
About the Speaker:
Pin Wang, Ph.D., received a B.S. degree in 1997 from University of Science and Technology of China, and a Ph.D. degree in 2003 from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. He started teaching at the University of Southern California in 2005, and his research interests include cancer treatment, stem cell biology, gene therapy.