dr. C. J. Anderson (PhD)

CRIG member
C. J. Anderson

Postdoctoral researcher, Lab for Cell Clearance in Health and Disease Inflammation Research Center (VIB-UGent)
Principal Investigator: prof. Kodi Ravichandran (PhD)


Research focus

Cell death is an integral part of life. Billions of our cells die on a daily basis as part of normal tissue development and homeostasis. Cytotoxic chemotherapies are treatment strategies that induce tumor cell death in order for the body to clear the tumors and generate an immune response against them. Cytotoxic chemotherapies mistakenly target healthy cells that are rapidly dividing, particularly those in our gastrointestinal tract. One of the most common side effects in patients undergoing chemotherapy is gastrointestinal toxicity: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These negative side effects are one of the major limiting factors in the duration and dosing of currently existing chemotherapies as well as new candidate drugs currently in clinical trials. In addition, these cytotoxic chemotherapies also leave patients more susceptible to developing subsequent infections. Patients undergoing chemotherapy can develop infections either by encountering pathogenic microbes from their environment or from within their own microbial community that resides within their intestinal tract.
We have generated exciting new data that demonstrates that dying tumor cells, as well as dying healthy intestinal cells, release nutrients that can be readily used by intestinal bacteria for growth. This death induced nutrient release occurs in response to multiple cytotoxic chemotherapies and induces a specific gene signature in the growing bacteria. Our work uses bacterial genetics, drug inhibitors, and mammalian genetic approaches to uncover how cytotoxic chemotherapies promote death induced nutrient release and identify the bacterial pathways that are responsible for driving faster growth. 

Contact & links

  • Lab address: VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research. Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 71. 9052 Ghent
  • Lab Ravichandran
  • Dr. Anderson is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks