Unifying scientific principles in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and genetics have often been discovered in viral systems. On the other hand, gene therapy applications depend on viral vectors, and a deep understanding of basic virology is necessary for the development of gene therapy. Building a premier gene therapy program is an institutional priority of Mayo Clinic.
The new academic track in Virology and Gene Therapy takes advantage of the outstanding molecular medicine and gene therapy research at Mayo. Virology and Gene Therapy students spend most of their graduate school years engaged in cutting-edge research in their chosen mentor's lab, leading to presentations at national/international scientific meetings and publications in high-quality journals. Their research has already yielded insights in fundamental mechanisms of virus-host interactions. Moreover, their studies have contributed to novel cancer clinical trials based on newly developed targeted oncolytic viruses.
Roberto Cattaneo, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Virology and Gene Therapy Program