Dr Tyler Barr

Dr Tyler Barr


I completed my PhD research project investigating oncolytic virus therapy for Ewing sarcoma in August 2022 within Leeds Institute of Medical Research. I am now continuing to research in this field as a research fellow, investigating oncolytic virus immunotherapy for the treatment of Osteosarcoma, funded by the Myrovlytis Trust. 

I initally developed an interest in cancer immunotherapy while completeing my MSc in Molecular Medicine at the University of Leeds in 2017-18. This course, and particularly the 4 month research project, allowed me to gain insight into the field and valued laboratory experience. I obtained a PhD studentship, funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust in 2018, under the supervision of Professor Graham Cook and Dr Fiona Errington-Mais. My PhD project investigated oncolytic virus therapy for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma, particularly focussing on the role of NK cells in immunotherapy for this cancer. My current project as a research fellow will investigate the efficacy of oncolytic viruses in Osteosarcoma using in vitro and in vivo models to better understand how the cells of the tumour micro-environment may impact oncolytic virus therapy for Osteosarcoma. 

I have a keen interest in further developing my teaching experience. I currently deliver tutorials and practical sessions for the MSc Molecular Medicine course at the Univeristy of Leeds. 

Research interests

Osteosarcoma (OS) is a rare malignancy of the bone or soft tissue, which typically presents in children and young adults. Treatment options for OS are limited, particularly for patients with disseminated disease. Oncolytic viruses are immunotherapeutic agents, which selectively replicate within and lyse cancer cells, and harbour the ability to substantiate anti-tumour immune responses. There is robust preclinical and clinical data which hold promise for oncolytic virus therapy for the treatment of many cancer types, however, there has been minimal research to investigate their efficacy against OS.

My project will determine if oncolytic viruses could be a suitable therapy for OS, and using in vitro and in vivo models, will assess any impact of immuno-suppressive cells within the tumour micro-environment on oncolytic virus therapy. This will initially involve screening a panel of oncolytic viruses, to assess their direct killing effects and virus-based activation of an immune response to this cancer. The efficacy of oncolytic viruses as adjuvant therapies with other agents will also be explored.


  • BSc Biomedical Science - First Class Honours
  • MSc Molecular Medicine - Distinction
  • PhD Cancer Immunotherapy - Pending viva examination

Professional memberships

  • British Society for Immunology Member
  • British Sarcoma Group Member

Student education

MSc Molecular Medicine: Preparing for the research project module