Log in   

Login to your account

Immunovirotherapy Group

During evolution, viruses have developed intriguing and sophisticated strategies to interact with the immune system in order to avoid elimination. The mission of our group is to investigate these strategies in detail and to use them to generate more potent and specific vaccines for various diseases.

Cancer remains a significant disease and leading cause of death, and there is a need for more sophisticated and effective therapies. Personalized treatments for cancer show great promise in curing the disease, and developing novel personalized therapy approaches is one of our main goals. Our selected platform to treat cancer is oncolytic virus. These viruses have been engineered to selectively infect and kill cancer cells in a process called, “oncolysis.” During infection by oncolytic viruses, the immune system is switched on, eliciting a virus-specific immune response. The same infection can also elicits a tumor-specific immune response that, in some cases, synergizes with the virus and provides a long-lasting beneficial effect for patients. Our group explores mechanisms to understand and ultimately to control the virus-host interface and to revert the anti-viral response into an anti-tumoral response. To facilitate these studies, we have developed innovative and sophisticated techniques that allow us to continually and rapidly monitor tumor antigen presentation. This information can then be used to generate tumor-specific (or patient-specific) oncolytic vaccines. Using similar viral technology, we are also researching and developing potential vaccines for malaria, influenza, and other infectious diseases.

Selected Publications:


Vincenzo Cerullo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Vincenzo Cerullo received his PhD in Biotechnology in 2004 (University of L’Aquila and University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy). He obtained international research experience as a post-doctoral fellow at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, USA (2004-2008). From 2008-2011 he served as Senior Researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine. Since 2012, he has served as Assistant Professor and Group Leader in the CDR, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki.

Dr. Cerullo serves as ad hoc reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals; as well as expert reviewer for the WellcomeTrust UK, various European Commission funding programmes, and the Italian Ministry of Education and University. In addition, he serves on the editorial board of  the journal, "Biomedicine." Most recently, Dr. Cerullo was guest editor of the Special Issue on Gene Therapy for Cancer Treatment.

Professor Cerullo has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and more than 10 patents in the US and European Union. 
His research is mainly focused on immunology and vaccine development using viral platforms. As a part of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Helsinki, he teaches "Advanced Course in Immunobiology," a course he developed. He is further developing a new comprehensive course in Immunology, a first at the Faculty of Pharmacy.

read more

Login to post comments

From the Director

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Recent Activities