Tessa Andermann, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases, has received a pilot award from the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (CGBD) for the study “Investigating the role of secondary bile acid derivatives in Th17-mediated disease: A pilot study of multiple myeloma and treatment response.”
Dr. Andermann presented the proposed study during CGBD’s Research Day June 14, describing it as the first of its kind to investigate the role of secondary bile acid derivatives (3-oxoLCA and isoLCA) in hematologic malignancy, and the first to pilot multi-omic predictors of multiple myeloma outcomes.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer driven by bone-marrow resident Th17 T-cells from the gut. Resident intestinal microbes (e.g. Prevotella spp.) have been demonstrated to contribute to Th17-driven multiple myeloma progression and are associated (e.g. Eubacterium spp.) with response to induction chemotherapy in small studies. Eubacterium spp are unique in possessing metabolic machinery for the production of secondary bile acids and their derivatives (3-oxoLCA and isoLCA), important in Th17 regulation.
Successful completion of this pilot project will detail microbial and bile acid interactions important for Th17-driven intestinal diseases in general, define potential mechanisms for progression to MM and treatment response and provide preliminary results for future independent R01-level NIH funding.
The Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (CGIBD), a joint program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, awards pilot/feasibility grants each year in a competitive application process. Pilot/feasibility grants are one-year awards of up to $30,000 total costs. The program enables investigators to pursue new and innovative research ideas leading to independent funding and priority is given to new investigators and investigators. Learn more about pilot grants for gastrointestinal biology research from the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease.