The dynamics of climate change, globalisation, urbanisation and viral evolution can lead to the occurrence of outbreaks and the geographical expansion of viral diseases. This is especially true for vector-borne viruses (such as the dengue and zika viruses) and those that require close contact (such as the Ebola and influenza viruses). In addition, blood-borne viruses that are without preventive vaccines, such as HIV and the hepatitis C virus, remain a problem in several parts of the world, especially regions where resources are limited. At the same time, viruses can also be explored as a type of nanomedicine for the treatment of cancers. This presents the exciting possibility of employing nanoscale viral particles as oncolytic agents. To address the range of problems associated with viral diseases, the Molecular Virology and Oncolytics Laboratory (MVOL) has set about targeting viral entry, which could prove useful for developing therapeutic and prophylactic treatments. Such treatments would be particularly effective in the absence of readily available vaccines. Dr Liang-Tzung Lin, a faculty at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Taipei Medical University, Taiwan, leads MVOL. His team conducts projects that tackle emerging viral infectious diseases and identify antiviral strategies to preclude viral entry. In addition, he also leads the researchers in engineering viruses with a propensity to selectively target and replicate in cancer cells, and simultaneously stimulate the host antitumor response. The goal is to explore oncolytic viro-immunotherapy as a treatment to combat cancers. Together, these two themes represent the main focus of MVOL.
- ANTIVIRALS; BLOOD-BORNE VIRUSES; EMERGING VIRUSES; FLAVIVIRUSES; HEPATITIS C VIRUS; HOST FACTORS; MEASLES VIRUS; MOLECULAR VIROLOGY; THERAPEUTIC AND PROPHYLACTIC TREATMENTS; VIRAL DISEASES; VIRAL ENTRY; VIRAL ONCOLYTICS; VIRAL PATHOGENESIS