Professor Matthew Meyerson

Understanding how bugs in the gut influence bowel cancer

Professor Matthew Meyerson is Professor of Pathology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, USA and co-leader of a Cancer Grand Challenges programme alongside Professor Wendy Garrett. He is interested in the genetic changes that trigger the development of tumours from previously healthy cells.

The Grand Challenge undertaken by Professors Meyerson and Garrett is focused on understanding the influence of the billions of microbes in our gut (known as the gut microbiome) on bowel cancer.

The microbes that live in our gut, are essential for our biology and help us remain healthy. Understanding how they behave in diseases like bowel cancer could help us boost the effectiveness of treatments.

Professor Meyerson’s lab has previously produced computer software that was able to identify a specific bacterium present in the digestive system that helps bowel cancer grow. The Grand Challenge award will be used to further this work and understand how different patterns in the gut microbiome might be associated with bowel cancer.

The results of this work could help us to understand ways to prevent the disease, and find new treatments for bowel cancer patients, based on altering the microbiome.

Bowel (colorectal) cancer
Cancer biology

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA