Penn Vector Core: Vector Development
Penn Vector Core maintains strong links to key laboratories at Penn involved in novel vector development. Relevant innovations are quickly brought into the Vector Core where they are validated and made available to investigators. Improved methods of creation of new adenoviral vectors, novel AAV serotypes derived from human and non-human primates, and various pseudotyped lentiviruses have been developed in the laboratory of Dr. James Wilson and transferred to the Penn Vector Core.
Since the introduction of the gene therapy concept in the early 90s, research has entered a fast evolving era. Achievement of efficient and long-term gene transfer to the target cells with minimal host immune responses and toxicity remains one of the major challenges to gene therapists. Discovery and development of efficient, versatile, and safe delivery vehicles for therapeutic genes becomes the most critical path to the success of gene therapy applications. Among various gene transfer vehicles available to date, viral vectors continue to dominate the field of gene therapy. Whenever there is the discovery of a new virus which can be used for gene transfer applications, it is engineered into a vector. Once the vector has demonstrated its potential, discoveries always lead to further advances in the field. From retrovirus to lentivirus and adenoviruses to adeno-associated viruses, all promises and potentials held by these vectors have provided significant landmarks in the short history of gene therapy research. Overall, discovery and development of novel viral vectors continue to be among the major driving forces to the fast evolving field. The purpose of the Vector Development Laboratory is to continue the pursuit of GTP's endeavor to provide the gene therapy research community at Penn a leading and dependable source of knowledge and science.