Edward J Shillitoe, PhD
- Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Research Programs and Affiliations
- Biomedical Sciences Program
- Cancer Research Institute
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Research Pillars
Education & Fellowships
- BDS: University of London, UK
- PhD: University of London, UK
Gene therapy for cancer; Bacterial causes of obesity, diabetes and periodontal disease
In this laboratory we study the effects of viruses and bacteria on human health.
For several years we have worked to develop the use of viruses for treatment of cancer. We have developed new strains of herpes viruses and adeno-associated viruses, which are intended to infect human tumors and kill the abnormal cells. Currently we are examining new ways to make these viruses more potent so that they will spread rapidly through a tumor, killing the tumor cells while sparing the healthy cells.
A new project concerns the growing problems of obesity and diabetes in adults. Although these conditions are usually blamed on diet and exercise it was recently reported that several types of animals will gain weight and develop diabetes if they carry specific bacteria in their intestine. We want to find if humans who suffer from obesity and diabetes might have the same bacteria. Recently we started a clinical study in which we recruit volunteers who will be treated for obesity by having weight-loss surgery, and we will find if the results of the surgery are associated with changes in their bacteria. This is being done in collaboration with our local colleagues Drs. R. Weinstock, R. Cooney, T. Kim and H. Simon as well as outside consultants. It is our hope that if we can identify specific intestinal bacteria that are associated with obesity or diabetes, it might not be long before new and better treatments could be developed.
C. Griffith, S. Noonan, E. Lou and E.J. Shillitoe. An oncolytic mutant of herpes simplex virus type-1 in which replication is governed by a promoter/enhancer element of human papillomavirus type-16. Cancer Gene Ther 14:985-993, 2007.
E.J. Shillitoe. Gene therapy: the end of the rainbow? Head Neck Oncol 1:1-5, 2009.
E.J. Shillitoe. Combined effect of Cisplatin and Herpes simplex virus on oral cancer cells. Oral Oncol Suppl 3, 189, 2009.
S.L. Longo, C. Griffith, A.Glass, E. J. Shillitoe, and D.E. Post. Development of an oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus in which replication is regulated by a promoter that is preferentially active in hypoxic tumor cells. Cancer Gene Ther 18:123-134, 2011.
L. Wood and E.J. Shillitoe. Effect of a caspase inhibitor, zVADfmk, on the inhibition of breast cancer cells by herpes simplex virus type-1. Cancer Gene Ther 18:685-694, 2011.
Eric Wohlford received a 2012 travel award from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and spent two months in Kenya working in the lab of Rosemary Rochford, PhD, professor and chair of Upstate’s Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Eric studied the effects of malaria on B cells (producers of antibodies that fight infection) and Epstein-Barr Virus infection in the region. “Tropical medicine is unique, in that small, focused improvements in patient care make dramatic improvements in the well-being of patients,” he said.