The Vector Labs are structured and organized under a new paradigm for Vector Core operations that is designed to provide investigators with a single source that can supply their vector needs throughout the development of the research programs. The labs utilize an integrated systems approach to speed the flow of vector technologies and information. These systems are designed to provide comprehensive resources to investigators so they can avoid many of the common pitfalls and delays that occur during the translational research period. These pitfalls and delays are caused when a specific vector-disease approach must transition from a basic research environment into the highly regulated and controlled processes of final preclinical safety testing and human clinical trials. The UNC Vector Labs will support MTCC investigators by providing expertise with vector design, construction, and development as well as by providing investigators with the viral vector reagents themselves. Investigators will be able to select the optimal type of viral platform (adenoviral, AAV, lentiviral, retroviral, PIV, cell-based, or plasmid) for the specific research in which they are involved. Investigators can also select from a range of standard quality grades (research, preclinical, or clinical), or can custom design intermediate grades as necessary. The combined staff at the Vector Labs and the Gene Therapy Center have prior experience in bringing to clinical trials virtually all the major viral platforms. Investigators will be able to utilize this experience to aid in creating drug development templates as their research progresses into the clinical arena.
The Vector Core will provide a broad range of services that will benefit public health. Its foremost mission is to provide gene transfer vectors that will treat people with genetic diseases. An important parallel mission is to develop gene transfer vectors that may aid in immunization of the general population to a variety of communicable diseases.
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