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Viral Genetics Lab​

Research the Ferran lab focuses on the development of viruses as a cancer therapy and as a molecular tool to understand innate immunity and age-related diseases. 

Studies in her lab also investigate the use of imaging agents to detect and destroy breast cancer.


diagram of the development of VSV as an oncolytic agent
Development of VSV as an oncolytic agent

A main aspect of our research focuses on how VSV evades the host immune response. Many human cancers contain defects in their innate immune response, leaving them susceptible to viruses. We are using our knowledge of virus immune evasion strategies to further develop VSV as an oncolytic agent to selectively destroy human prostate cancer cells.

The digram of Innate immunity aging related-diseases
Development of virus tools to understand innate immunity and age-related diseases in the C. elegant model system

In collaboration with Dr. Andrew Samuelson (Department of Biomedical Genetics at the University of Rochester) we are developing virus-based tools to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate the innate immune response and age-associated disease.

MRI scan of breast cancer cells using confocal fluorescence microscopy.
Targeted Molecular Imaging: Lighting up Breast Cancer Cells

In collaboration with Dr. Han Schmitthenner (School of chemistry and materials science at RIT) we are testing targeted agents for triple negative breast cancer cells utilizing We have excellent preliminary data and will be applying for grants in this area soon! 

Our People

Photo of Maureen Ferran

 Maureen Ferran, Ph.D

Associate Professor 
Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
College of Science