Giulia Fulci, PhD
Instructor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Virologist, Neurosurgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital
DF/HCC Program AffiliationNeuro-Oncology
My research focuses on increasing efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy for brain tumors. I started working in this field as a research fellow in Dr. Chiocca's laboratory. My goal was to understand the mechanisms through which cyclophosphamide enhances intratumoral viral spread and conseuquent survival of rodents with establsihed gliomas. Through this work I realized that oncolytic viruses elicit a strong innate immune response early after their intratumoral injection. This response is detrimental for viral replication, spread and presistance in brain tumors. Thus, my major goal now is to understand the mechanisms that regulate this innate immune response in order to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention. To improve the efficacy of this therapeutc strategy I am also in the process of establishing a new MRI technology that can detect virus replication, intratumoral infiltration of innate immune cells and tumor response during one MRI imaging session. This will strongly increase our diagnostic capacities of such treatment. Finally, I am testing the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy when performed in combination with FDA-approved anti-angiogenic and immuno-suppressive drugs.
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