dr. Ioanna Petta (PhD)

CRIG member
Ioanna Petta

Postdoctoral researcher – Host-Microbiota interaction Lab and Molecular immunology and inflammation Lab (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences GEO1, UZ/Gent), Inflammation Research Center (IRC), VIB
Principal investigator: prof. Lars Vereecke


Research focus

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 2nd most frequent cause of cancer-related deaths in Belgium and the third most common type of cancer world-wide making up about 10 % of all cases.
Interestingly, CRC mainly affects people in Western society, indicating a strong contribution of environmental factors linked to Western lifestyle.
Changes in the gut microbiota have been associated to a myriad of human diseases, and increasing evidence is emerging that also CRC development is mitigated by bacterial-host interactions.
In my research project, I aim to unravel mechanisms underlying the involvement of microbiota in the CRC onset and progression.
As model we use a fast and 100% penetrant CRC transgenic mouse model which is microbiome dependent.
Additionally, I make use of the germ-free technology that gives me the opportunity to generate gnotobiotic mice and study in depth specific bacterial strains involved in the disease.
Moreover, we aim to study dietary interventions that impact microbiome composition and CRC development.
During the last decade there is an increased interest in the investigation of microbiome in various diseases.
We believe that our research is interesting for scientists in the microbiome and cancer field, since specific microbiome profiles may be shared among different diseases, thus improving the understanding on different disease mechanisms. 

Contact & links

  • Lab Address: Host Microbiota Interaction lab, campus UZ Gent, MRBII building(Entrance 38), Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Inflammation Research Center (IRC), VIB, Ghent
  • Ghent Gut Inflammation Group (GGIG), Ghent 
  • Ioanna Petta is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks