(This Core was previously named the Gene Transfer, Targeting, and Therapeutics Core) Viral vectors are commonly used to deliver genetic material to targeted cells, both in vitro and in vivo. They also represent attractive candidates for in vivo gene therapy. However, there are significant safety concerns when working with and producing research grade viral vectors. These safety issues are compounded when individual research laboratories are tasked with establishing and maintaining their own safety infrastructure and protocols. To address these concerns, the Salk Institute has established a centralized resource, namely the Viral Vector Core. The Core produces and maintains an extensive library of commonly-used stock viral vectors. In addition, the Core offers custom design and production services for multiple types of viral vectors, including lentivirus, retrovirus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, G-deleted rabies, and vesicular stomatitis virus. Finally, the Core provides expert consultation services, helping researchers identify the viral vector tool best suited for their stated objectives, and teaching investigators how to safely handle and use viral vector technologies. Salk Cancer Center members have utilized both the custom and stock vector production services, as well as the NanoSight Particle Tracker, which is used to visualize and count nanoparticles such as viruses and exosomes. To help Salk Cancer Center members innovate new experimental tools and potential therapies, the Viral Vector Core constantly seeks to introduce novel viral vector technologies. Recent advances in viral vector design have produced new AAV capsids and lentivirus/retrovirus envelope proteins with enhanced infection and trafficking characteristics. The Core has incorporated these novel tools into Core offerings, making them available to Cancer Center researchers. Core staff have also introduced a self- inactivating rabies virus that has markedly less cytotoxicity, thus improving the utility of these vectors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla
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