WP3: Mapping the cellular distribution of the bowel cancer microbiome
We hope to better understand the bacterial cells that make up the colorectal cancer microbiome, and how they interact with human cancer cells. For example, what types of bacteria are found with the cancer? Do they make their way inside the human cells, or do they just sit on the surface of the cells? Do they touch human immune cells that help fight the cancer? And perhaps most importantly, do the bacteria help the cancer cells grow, and if so, how, and how can we stop them?
We are exploring these questions using specialized microscopes and technologies that enable us to see the bacteria and the human cells. We have developed methods to pinpoint locations within the intestine that harbor bacteria, and which bacteria are in each location. We are also using sequence analysis to help us identify the bacteria. Sequence analysis can also tell us which intestinal cell types are affected, the bacteria affecting them, and the human and bacterial genes that are turned on or off as a result of the bacterial-cancer cell association. This detailed information will give us a new understanding to aid in diagnosis of colorectal cancer and development of new treatments.
Work Package Leaders
Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, Boston
- Professor of Genetics and Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Director, Center for Cancer Genomics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Institute Member, Cancer Program, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard
Marios Giannakis, MD, PhD
Co-Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor in Medicine
Marielle Santos McLeod, CPN
Marielle was diagnosed with young onset Stage III colon cancer in June 2017. After completing numerous rounds of chemotherapy is now cancer free. She holds a BA Spanish and an MHA in Healthcare Administration and has worked in the healthcare field for 13 years.