A Novel Platform Technology for Synthetic Vaccines and Gene Delivery Systems

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details


Viruses assemble protein containers, called capsids, around their genomes as protective shells. We have discovered assembly instructions in the genomes of a number of viruses, including major human pathogens, that play a fundamental role in capsid formation. These genome-encoded instructions (Packaging Signals, PSs) can be isolated from the genetic message and optimised in order to improve the assembly efficiency of capsids around non-viral cargoes. We will exploit this technology in order to address bottlenecks in the design and manufacture of novel vaccines for both infection and cancer, and also as delivery vehicles in gene therapy. The latter has enormous potential to revolutionise clinical treatments, but its application is currently stalled by a search for better, safer vectors which our artificial viral shells can become. This research programme will generate proof-of-principle data as a basis for a spin-out company and industrial investment at the end of the grant period.
Effective start/end date1/02/2031/07/21