Engineering virus-based cancer therapeutics to drive a systemic anti-cancer immune response

One rapidly evolving area of cancer therapeutics is immunotherapy, which aims to drive a cancer-targeted immune response in tumors. Replicating virus-based therapeutics are a novel cutting-edge immunotherapy that have shown promise clinically. Turnstone Biologics has developed a novel cancer-killing virus with the capacity to deliver multiple payloads to further enhance the virus’ anti-cancer effects in the tumour microenvironment. Selection of the correct payloads will play a key role in determining how effective the virus is in treating a broad spectrum of patients. My project aims to engineer a novel virus delivering a combination of immune stimulating payloads to trigger a more potent anti-cancer immune response. The generation of the candidate virus will be generated using cutting-edge genetic engineering technology. The synergy of these newly developed oncolytic viruses with other existing clinically relevant immunotherapies will also be examined. The proposed work should facilitate the development of novel clinical virus candidates for Turnstone Biologics.

Faculty Supervisor:

Carolina Ilkow


Ragunath Singaravelu


Turnstone Biologics


Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Ottawa


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