This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 341009)
Genetic and environmental factors that control inflammation-driven colon cancer
Intestinal homeostasis is achieved through tightly regulated crosstalk between local immune cells, intestinal epithelial cells and beneficial microbes that reside in our gut. These interactions influence bacterial colonisation, immune cell function, and promote the integrity of the intestinal epithelial cell layer. Disruption of this mutualism – usually resulting from a combination of genetic and environmental factors – leads to chronic intestinal inflammation, a risk factor for development of colorectal cancer.
This project will examine how microbial and cytokine signals influence epithelial and stem cell function in the gut to promote the transition from inflammation to cancer. These studies offer to reveal new therapeutic targets for inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.