Dr. Binghua LiResearch Scientist
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA
Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, China
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Binghua Li, Research Scientist in UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He completed his undergraduate studies at Ludong Univeristy in 2001 and received the Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the prestigious Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, China Academy of Sciences in 2006. He finished 2 years of postdoctoral training in UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Now he is a Research Associate in Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
His major research interest is cancer gene therapy. Gene therapy is an experimental treatment that involves introducing genetic material into a person’s cells to fight or prevent disease. The viruses used in gene therapy are altered to make them safe; however, some risks still exist with gene therapy.
Conditionally replicating adenoviruses (CRAds) are generated in his study to target cancer tissues specifically. CRAds can be engineered to replicate selectively within tumor cells by two broad strategies. In the first, deletions are made to the adenovirus genome, which prevent replication in normal cells, but allow replication in tumor cells with genetic defects that complement the deleted viral gene functions. By this strategy, they developed ZD55 system. The second broad is to control the expression of genes involved in viral replication with a tumor- or tissue-selective promoter (TSP). In his study, he used survivin promoter to control E1A gene to obtain the tumor-specific replication of the adenovirus. To reduce the antigenicity of the adenoviral vector, they develop the gutless system, which is devoid of all protein-coding region of the adenoviral genome.