Menzies Fellow part of colorectal cancer discovery team

24 June 2015

NHMRC/RG Menzies Fellow Dr Si Ming ManCurrent NHMRC/RG Menzies Fellow Dr Si Ming Man is part of a research team which has discovered that boosting the activity of a protective gene and giving patients ‘good’ gut bacteria could help prevent or slow the progression of colorectal cancer.

The team of scientists from St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee, where Si Ming is a post-doctoral fellow, have discovered that an immune system protein, called AIM2 (Absent in Melanoma 2), plays a role in determining the aggressiveness of colon cancer.

The team, led by Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, Ph.D., a member of the St Jude Department of Immunology, published their findings in a recent issue of the journal Cell. She said that the findings could have important applications for prevention, prognosis and treatment of the cancer.

Dr Kanneganti and her team believe that it might be possible to prevent the disease or reduce its risk by treating susceptible people to increase AIM2 activity and give them healthy donor bacteria.

For more about the discovery, read the latest edition of Cell.

For Si Ming this is the second research paper published in recent months. The first focused research about highly virulent and often fatal infectious bacterium, Francisella tularensis.

St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.