Prof. Johanna Joyce among 8 recipients of 2022 Mark Foundation ASPIRE awards

Investigating the Bacterial Microbiome in Brain Metastasis

New York, NY – The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research announced eight outstanding research projects to receive its latest class of ASPIRE awards. Grantees from top academic institutions in six countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, and USA) were awarded more than $2 million for high-impact/high reward projects that aim to answer key feasibility and proof-of-concept questions in an accelerated time frame, typically one year. These are the first Mark Foundation grants in Austria and Switzerland, as the Foundation continues to expand its global outreach.

In their awarded project, Johanna Joyce and her group will explore extra-intestinal microbiota in the context of brain metastasis (BrM). They recently found that depletion of bacteria via antibiotic treatment alters the development of BrM in a mouse model. The group will evaluate the impact of bacterial depletion on BrM progression, including by employing germ-free mice to deconvolute the effect of antibiotics on disease progression and will characterize the bacterial and host cell milieu of the BrM tumors through a series of microenvironment-omics and spatial imaging analyses. These studies will help illuminate the burgeoning field of microbiome studies outside of the gut in a cancer context.

More about The Mark Foundation’s ASPIRE awards and 2022 recipients