NIH grant to fund research on microbiome’s role in cancer
A 5-year, $2.1 million grant from the NIH will support a CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy-led study to identify the role the human microbiome plays in cancer development and treatment.
“This project involves systematically re-analyzing most of the published human metagenomics microbiome data and results, and enabling the research community to apply these data and results to new analyses,” Levi Waldron, PhD, an associate professor at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, said in a press release. “I think of it as the ‘publicly owned microbiome project’ because the data are owned by the public, and the public should see these valuable data used beyond the limitations of the original studies for the greatest possible alleviation of disease burden.”
The study, according to the release, aims to enable comprehensive comparisons of microbiome studies to previously published results and known microbial physiology, to develop higher-resolution approaches to identify viruses and bacterial strains from metagenomic data, and to make all methods and resources easily usable by a broad research community through open-source software and databases.
“As a recent survivor of a virally-caused cancer, I am especially honored to be entrusted with public funds to undertake this ambitious project,” Waldron said in the release. “I look forward to helping enable a broad research community to identify, prevent, and better treat cancers of the microbiome.”