The Viral Core in the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies assists with the construction and production of viral vectors that can be used as vehicles for delivering genes or templates into cells for targeted integration or repair. Viral vectors are essential tools for the center and NGEC researchers working to advance the field of gene therapy and repair.
The core, managed by Iram Khan, currently produces the following types of viral vectors:
- Lentivirus (LV) vectors. A subclass of retrovirus vectors, LV vectors hold great promise in gene therapy because of their ability to integrate their genome into non-dividing cells. In addition, LV vectors are considered safer than retroviral vectors with regard to integration profiles.
- Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. AAV (a non-pathogenic parvovirus) vectors are ideal for manipulation of the genome because of their transient expression and efficient delivery into the nucleus of target cells. Common applications include delivery of nucleases and repair templates into cells. A wide variety of available serotypes with different tropism allow transduction of various cell types including hematopoietic stem cells.
The Viral Core is managed by Iram Khan, who can be contacted at 206-884-8159.
Iram Khan is the manager of the Viral Core. She received her PhD from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India. During her graduate training, she worked on sequence analysis of the envelope gene of HIV-1 subtype C isolates, important for the rationale design of a vaccine against this subtype. Iram pursued her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. David Russell at the University of Washington. There, she worked on gene targeting using AAV vectors to engineer human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells at multiple therapeutically useful chromosomal loci. Her primary interests include developing AAV vectors for gene targeting and repair for treatment of hematopoietic diseases.
The Viral Core facility is located at 1900 Ninth Avenue in Seattle.