Ph.D.:  Western Michigan University, 2014
Mentor:  Jia Liu, Ph.D.
Lab:   UAMS Biomed I, room 517.
Phone: (269) 312-9692 

Research Description

In my Ph.D. research at Western Michigan University, I explored the oncolytic potential of a poxvirus, the tanapox virus (TPV), to express several cytokines and an activator of TLR5, flagellin. These engineered variants of TPV were then tested in a nude mouse model of human colorectal cancer. In my first postdoctoral posting at the Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory (ARS/USDA) in East Lansing, Michigan, I explored a novel method of attenuating viruses by di-codon deoptimization to create antigenically-defined vaccines against Marek’s disease virus (MDV), an alphaherpesvirus and an economically important disease of farmed poultry. In September of 2017 I joined the laboratory of Jia Liu, where the focus is upon using a poxvirus (the myxoma virus, MYXV) as a tool to elucidate cytoplasmic DNA sensors and their contribution to the innate immune response, and upon using the MYXV as an immunotherapeutic against human ovarian cancers.


Steven J Conrad, Jia Liu. Poxviruses as Gene Therapy Vectors:  Generating Poxviral Vectors Expressing Therapeutic Transgenes. Springer Methods in Molecular Biology, Viral Vectors for Gene Therapy.

Conrad, S. J., Silva, R. F., Climans, M. and Dunn, J. R. Attenuation of an Alphaherpesvirus by Codon Pair Deoptimization of Core Herpesvirus Genes. Virology Journal, Submitted.

Conrad, S and Essani, K. 2014. Oncolytic tanapoxvirus expressing FliC causes regression of human colorectal cancer xenografts in nude mice. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 34, 19 (2015). PMID: 25887490