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Patients with IBD are at increased risk of developing colon cancer, and inflammation is also thought to play an important role in non-IBD related colorectal cancer (CRC). Inflammatory mediators therefore represent a promising source of novel clinical targets for improving colon cancer therapy.

Current projects include

  • Identifying new mechanisms by which lack of adequate T cell regulation in the gut can drive formation of aggressive, invasive colon adenocarcinomas 
  • Studying the dynamics of liver and lung metastasis from primary colorectal tumours
  • Characterisation of specific genes in a recently identified genomic susceptibility locus 
  • Understanding the mechanisms by which IL-22 promotes colon tumorigenesis


  • Endoscopy 
  • IVIS spectrum in vivo imaging 
  • Flow cytometry/sorting 
  • Gene expression profiling 

Selected publications

Innate lymphoid cells sustain colon cancer through production of interleukin-22 in a mouse model. Kirchberger S, Royston DJ, Boulard O, Thornton E, Franchini F, Szabady RL, Harrison O, Powrie F. J Exp Med. 2013 May 6;210(5):917-31.

Identification of a genetic locus controlling bacteria-driven colitis and associated cancer through effects on innate inflammation. Boulard O, Kirchberger S, Royston DJ, Maloy KJ, Powrie FM. J Exp Med. 2012 Jul 2;209(7):1309-24. doi: 10.1084/jem.20120239.