Our long-term goal is to understand the role of bacteria in the tumor microenvironment, with a focus on understanding how bacteria trigger immune responses that are detrimental to the host. To understand these processes we use biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, cell biology, microscopy, and biomedical engineering in collaboration with the group of Dr. Scott Verbridge
. This interdisciplinary approach has resulted in novel tools to study the role of Fusobacterium nucleatum
in colorectal cancer, as well as impactful results showing a direct role for this bacterium in cancer cell metastasis. Our current and future work is providing insight into how bacteria should be addressed in the field of Immuno-Oncology, with the potential to understand how to treat the host as well as eliminating bacteria in cancer to fight disease.
Our future endeavors include using what we have learned with F. nucleatum
and apply this knowledge to study a range of bacteria implicated in the onset and progression of cancer, with a focus on how these microbes evade and negatively influence the immune system during pathogenesis.
We are committed to using our reserach to improve human health and patient quality of life. We believe that continued research in the field of host:microbe interactions in cancer will provide critical insights into Immuno-Oncology and patient treatment.
Dr. Daniel J. Slade