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Janelle Arthur, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
UNC-Chapel Hill

Area of Interest

Our group seeks to understand how inflammation alters the pro-carcinogenic capabilities of the microbiota, with the long-term goal of targeting resident microbes as a preventative and therapeutic strategy to lessen inflammation and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Our general approach combines genomics, bioinformatics, immunology, bacterial cultivation techniques and gnotobiotic mouse models to identify inflammatory and pro-carcinogenic bacteria from human patients and uncover mechanisms by which these bacteria promote inflammation and neoplasia. We are currently focusing upon clinical strains of intestinal E. coli isolated directly from human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, who are known to experience a high risk of colorectal cancer. We are evaluating the ability of these resident microorganisms to induce inflammation and tumorigenesis in mouse models and defining functional capabilities, microbial genes and pathways that are causally and mechanistically linked to carcinogenesis. Ultimately this research will uncover novel microbial targets will enable us to manipulate the intestinal microbiota as a therapeutic target for human digestive diseases and cancer.

Find publications on PubMed

Awards and Honors

  • Jefferson-Pilot Fellowships in Academic Medicine, UNC School of Medicine, 2021-2022
  • Benjamin F. Trump Award, Aspen Cancer Conference, Aspen, CO, 2014
  • Aspen Cancer Conference Fellow, Aspen, CO, 2014
  • Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (CGIBD) Pilot Award Recipient, 2013
  • American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012-2014
  • 1st place oral presentation, Microbiology and Immunology Postdoctoral Symposium, 2010
  • NIDDK NRSA (T32) Institutional Postdoctoral Award, Gastroenterology, 2009-2011
  • Keystone Symposia Scholarship, PRRs and Immune Sensors, Banff, Alberta, Canada, 2009
  • Travel award, Dept Microbiology and Immunology, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2009
  • 1st place winner, poster session, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Annual Retreat, 2007
  • NIAID NRSA (T32) Institutional Predoctoral Award, Immunology, 2005-2008
  • National Merit Scholarship, 1998-2002
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute Presidential Scholarship, 1998-2002
Headshot of Janelle Arthur