Core Connection: Gene Editing and Viral Vector Core

January 12, 2017 | by Katie Neith

Adeno Associated Virus Production of adeno-associated vectors (visualized above) for gene delivery is just one of many services provided by the Gene Editing and Viral Vector Core at City of Hope.
In order to support principal investigators whose primary research and/or clinical activities are to genetically manipulate human and mouse genomes for basic research and therapeutic disease treatment, and to develop oncolytic immunotherapy for cancer, City of Hope has added a Viral Vector and Gene Editing Core to their suite of shared resources. The missions of the core include using gene editing to modify the genome of cultured human/mouse cell lines and primary cells, such as embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells; producing infectious lentiviral and retroviral vectors for gene delivery into culture cells; producing adeno-viral vectors (AV) and adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for direct gene delivery into animal in vivo or primary cells in vitro; and producing oncolytic viruses for selective ablation of tumors in vivo.
“As research efforts at City of Hope increase and expand to encompass leading-edge technologies, we believe it is important to provide cost-effective and standardized gene editing and viral vector production services,” says Saswati Chatterjee, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Surgery and co-director of the GEVV Core along with Nanhai G. Chen, Ph.D., the Heritage Provider Network Professor in Gene Therapy, and Jiing-Kuan Yee, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics. “The addition of our core to the City of Hope research community will not only expedite work in genetic manipulation of cell lines and transgenic animals, gene therapy and oncolytic immunotherapy, but will also act as a trouble-shooting resource for principal investigators in the early stages of developing oncolytic immunotherapy as well as gene- and cell-based therapies.”
City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope offer nearly 30 shared resources to meet researchers’ needs for specialized equipment, services or expert consultation — crucial tools for the pursuit of new treatments and potential cures. These core services, including the GEVV Core, are key to City of Hope’s status as a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and also serve as resources for the greater Southern California research community. 
Chatterjee says the GEVV Core specializes in the design, construction, packaging and testing of viral vectors, and genetic modification in both human and mice models. In addition, the viral production services will improve quality control in working with live infectious agents and save time for individual laboratories to focus on key research questions. The GEVV Core will also ensure that all gene modification vectors used by different City of Hope investigators are of the same high quality, she says.
“Regardless of whether the project is in early or late stages, we can work in conjunction with PIs to accelerate the development of novel therapeutics,” says Chih-Hong Lou, Ph.D., staff scientist and manager of the GEVV Core. “We will also coordinate with other established cores at City of Hope in order to ensure efficiency-tested products supported by high quality data.”
The GEVV Core provides cost-effective and standardized procedures of their services to make the development of new treatments more efficient, says Lou. This means that laboratories will be able to devote less time and effort to troubleshooting and labor intensive processes.
“Meanwhile, the core will continue to improve and develop more advanced protocols to accelerate the development of new treatments,” says Lou. “These new treatments will be geared toward personalized medicine, which is tailoring therapeutics to fit the needs of the patient. There are several advantages of this approach to medicine, including a higher probability of successful treatment, a reduced probability of negative effects and a reduction in cost of treatment when technologies are established at the clinical level.”  
For additional information and to schedule project consultations please contact the Core Manager Chih-Hong(Robert) Lou. This core is also now live in iLab and can be accessed directly using this link: Gene Editing and Viral Vector Core iLab site.
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