Developments in virology have led to the advancement of several disciplines, including gene therapy. Gene therapy holds promise of therapeutic options for a variety of diseases. The key issue in gene therapy is the development of delivery vehicles. To fulfill the national need, the UCLA Virology and Gene Therapy Training Program aims to provide a unique and outstanding environment for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees pursuing research careers in fields related to gene therapy. This Program will establish a solid training in fundamental virology and its applications in gene therapy. The research interests of our faculty encompass viral entry, viral gene expression regulation, replication of viral genome, cell biology during viral infection, viral particle assembly, viral carcinogenesis and viral immunology, as well as designing novel vectors and tracking viral vectors in vivo. With strong basic research programs on retroviruses, adenoviruses, SV40, hepatitis C, poliovirus, influenza virus and herpesviruses, our faculty has been and will be continuously developing viral vectors from these viruses and monitoring gene expression in vivo using non-invasive imaging technologies. The trainees will be exposed to clinical and diagnostic issues during their training to assist the therapeutic applications of their research projects, and be encouraged to form translational collaborations with basic and clinical mentors. This bridge in training environment will enhance the translation from basic science to clinical application in gene therapy. The training program constitutes 1) original research work with one or more of our faculty;2) formal course work which provides comprehensive background on virology, gene therapy, and imaging;and 3) regular research conferences and seminars, presented by invited guest speakers, faculty members and trainees. The training committee will select trainees via a competitive process. Appointments are renewable with satisfactory progress (up to three years predoctoral, 2 years postdoctoral). At UCLA, this rigorous training program with emphasis on vertical integration of basic sciences and therapeutic applications produces the scientists required for long-term development of virology and gene therapy.

Public Health Relevance

One of the most promising fields of medical advancement is gene therapy, in which changes to genes are introduced to correct genetic issues that lead to human disease development, including cancer, AIDS, and immune disorders. Because of the natural ability of viruses to deliver genes to cells in another organism, they are used as the vector to deliver the new genes to a patient. This training program is designed to produce future scientists in the fields of virology and gene therapy that will be able to design, new, more effective virus vectors, understand how to apply these vectors to human diseases and ensure that new gene therapies are available in the future.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases B Subcommittee (MID)
Program Officer
Robbins, Christiane M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Cunningham, Cameron R; Champhekar, Ameya; Tullius, Michael V et al. (2016) Type I and Type II Interferon Coordinately Regulate Suppressive Dendritic Cell Fate and Function during Viral Persistence. PLoS Pathog 12:e1005356
Hoban, Megan D; Romero, Zulema; Cost, Gregory J et al. (2016) Delivery of Genome Editing Reagents to Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells. Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol 36:5B.4.1-10
Hoban, Megan D; Lumaquin, Dianne; Kuo, Caroline Y et al. (2016) CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Correction of the Sickle Mutation in Human CD34+ cells. Mol Ther 24:1561-9
Pentecost, Mickey; Vashisht, Ajay A; Lester, Talia et al. (2015) Evidence for ubiquitin-regulated nuclear and subnuclear trafficking among Paramyxovirinae matrix proteins. PLoS Pathog 11:e1004739
Sanchez, David Jesse; Miranda Jr, Daniel; Marsden, Matthew D et al. (2015) Disruption of Type I Interferon Induction by HIV Infection of T Cells. PLoS One 10:e0137951
York, Autumn G; Williams, Kevin J; Argus, Joseph P et al. (2015) Limiting Cholesterol Biosynthetic Flux Spontaneously Engages Type I IFN Signaling. Cell 163:1716-29
Walsh, Nicole C; Waters, Lynnea R; Fowler, Jessica A et al. (2015) LKB1 inhibition of NF-κB in B cells prevents T follicular helper cell differentiation and germinal center formation. EMBO Rep 16:753-68
Hoban, Megan D; Cost, Gregory J; Mendel, Matthew C et al. (2015) Correction of the sickle cell disease mutation in human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Blood 125:2597-604
Qi, Hangfei; Wu, Nicholas C; Du, Yushen et al. (2015) High-resolution genetic profile of viral genomes: why it matters. Curr Opin Virol 14:62-70
Osokine, Ivan; Snell, Laura M; Cunningham, Cameron R et al. (2014) Type I interferon suppresses de novo virus-specific CD4 Th1 immunity during an established persistent viral infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:7409-14

Showing the most recent 10 out of 29 publications