University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Breast Oncology Program Seminar

December 13, 2017, 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Mount Zion
2340 Sutter Street
Lurie Seminar Room
San Francisco, CA 94143

Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD, Stanford   >view speaker profile

Title: Bugs and Drugs - the microbiome in malignancy

Abstract: There are more than 1,000 species of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in the human gut. Far from being passive passengers, these organisms strongly interact with host metabolism, the immune system, and more. For all of this interaction, the dynamics between human hosts and bacteria (microbiome) has only been explored in earnest for the last fifteen to twenty years. Compelling early experiments have shown that intestinal microbiome composition is associated with obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and the effectiveness of certain cancer chemotherapies. Therefore, understanding the impact of microbiomes speciation on noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, hematological and cardiometabolic disorders (Manzo and Bhatt, Blood, 2015) is fundamental to our health care. But how does one begin to model the dynamics of >1,000, mostly un-sequenced species and strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi? Our translational laboratory develops and applies novel molecular and computational tools to study strain level dynamics of the microbiome, to understand how microbial genomes change over time and predict the functional output of microbiomes. These innovations allow us to better (1) measure the types and functions of microbes in patients with non-communicable diseases, (2) iterate interaction models between microbial genes, gene products, and host cells and (3) test the impact of microbially targeted interventions in clinical trials.

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