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March 19th Frontiers in Biological Sciences Tsinghua University

Alberto Martin, Ph.D.

Associate professor, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto


1994 - 1999. Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

1992 - 1994. Masters of Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

1985 - 1990. Bachelor of Science, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

 Professional RESEARCH experience

2009 - present. Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Department of Immunology

2008 - present. Director of the Immunology Program, Trinity College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

2007 - present. Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

2003 - 2009. Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Department of Immunology

2000 - 2003. Research Associate, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY Department of Cell Biology; Laboratory of Dr. M.D. Scharff

1999. Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.  Department of Biochemistry, Laboratory of Dr. D.E. Isenman


TopicThe Gut Microbiota and Colon Cancer



The etiology of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been linked to deficiencies in mismatch repair and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) proteins, diet, inflammatory processes, and gut microbiota. However, the mechanism through which the microbiota synergizes with these etiologic factors to promote CRC is not clear. We report that altering the microbiota composition reduces CRC in APCMin/+MSH2-/- mice, but not in single mutant mice, and that a diet reduced in carbohydrates phenocopies this effect. Gut microbes did not induce CRC in these mice through an inflammatory response or the production of DNA mutagens but rather by providing carbohydrate-derived metabolites that fuels aberrant proliferation of colon epithelial cells. We provide evidence that this effect was caused by the metabolite butyrate which induced polyps in APCMin/+MSH2-/- mice. These data thereby provide an explanation for the interaction between microbiota, genetics, and diet in CRC induction.


Venue: Room143, New Biology Building, THU

Time: Mar. 19 (Tuesday), 2013; 16:30

Host: Prof. Yan Shi





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