Francesca Gazzaniga

Francesca Gazzaniga

Assistant Professor of Pathology
Francesca Gazzaniga

Gut microbiota – the trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and archaea that reside in our gut – contain a dynamic arsenal of products that can protect from or contribute to disease. Diet, medication, exercise, and disease impact the composition of the microbiota and influence the products the microbes produce. In turn, specific microbes influence immune cell function in both normal and disease states.

The Gazzaniga Lab focuses on unraveling this complex ecosystem that holds huge therapeutic potential, revealing the dynamic interplay of environmental factors, microbes, microbial products, and immune cells. Specifically, we focus on three main questions: (1) Which bacteria are associated with response in cancer patients? (2) Which gut bacterial molecules impact anti-tumor immunity? (3) How do microbe-mediated immune responses impact the anti-tumor response to immunotherapy?

We colonize Germ-Free mice with cancer patient stool samples to investigate the mechanisms by which bacteria from different microbiomes impact immune function. Our goal is to identify microbiome-inspired therapies that fine tune the immune system to fight cancer. 

Contact Information

Massachusetts General Hospital East
Molecular Pathology Unit
149 13th St, Rm 6016
Charlestown, MA 02129