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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Washington Researcher Awarded $3.9 million NIH Grant to Study Gut Microbiome, Colorectal Cancer

Dr. Amanda Phipps, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a five-year, $3.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the impact of the gut microbiome on colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer, a cancer of the colon and rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States for both men and women. Recent evidence has suggested that specific gut bacteria, or a disruption in the balance of gut bacterial populations, could play a role in the development and spread of colorectal cancer. The goal of this study is to identify differences in patterns of bacterial enrichment in colorectal cancer across tumor types and to assess the impact of those differences on colorectal cancer survival.

“Through our work, we hope to identify aspects of the gut microbial community that contribute different pathways of colorectal cancer development,” Dr. Phipps said. “By doing so, this work could ultimately inform new strategies to prevent colorectal cancer and identify people at high risk of the disease.”

This study will use data of 1,250 cases from the Puget Sound Colorectal Cancer Cohort, a population-based study of individuals with incident invasive colorectal cancer for whom follow up for survival is ongoing, epidemiologic data are available and numerous tumor attributes have been determined.

[Photo: Dr. Amanda Phipps]