The Department of Molecular Medicine is actively engaged in research and education to build a premier virus, gene and cell therapy program and to translate promising therapeutics from bench to bedside in a timely manner.

The wide range of disciplines represented by the Department of Molecular Medicine's leadership team and staff facilitates a breadth of translational activities. The researchers in the Department of Molecular Medicine are in the unique position of being able to move a basic science discovery all the way through to clinical trials and the development of novel therapies, all within the department and in an expedited fashion. For instance, instead of the standard five- to seven-year industry time frame, the department has moved their attenuated measles virus therapy for ovarian cancer from discovery to clinical trials within three years. This integrated process enables the advancement of science and the quick delivery of new treatments to patients.

Research focus areas

Researchers from the Department of Molecular Medicine participate in achieving the center's goal of personalizing each person's treatment for optimal care. The Molecular Medicine department's research team is focused on advancing the center's research into biomarker discovery. Researchers are also actively involved in applying their expertise in gene therapy to the field of regenerative medicine, particularly in the areas of beta cell regeneration and liver regeneration.

The Department of Molecular Medicine works with the Gene and Virus Therapy Program of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center — Research to develop new gene delivery systems and gene- and virus-based therapies for cancer treatment. The program conducts research on all Mayo Clinic campuses. The Gene and Virus Therapy Program focuses on four areas of research:

  • Vector development
  • Immunomodulation
  • Preclinical and clinical pharmacology
  • Cell carriers

Core facilities such as the Viral Vector Production Laboratory and the Toxicology and Pharmacology Shared Resource manufacture clinical-grade engineered viruses and perform preclinical toxicology and biodistribution studies to support the department's clinical trials.