Human Biology Division, Fred Hutch
Dr. Susan Bullman studies the link between microbes and cancer. She spearheads research on a species of bacteria that is implicated in colorectal cancer. Her studies show that when colon cancer cells spread to the liver, the dangerous bacteria travel there as well, embedding with those rogue cancer cells as the disease enters its most lethal phase. Dr. Bullman aims to unlock the molecular mechanisms behind cancer-promoting bacteria and identify targets for risk assessment, early detection, prevention and targeted treatment.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 2019, Postdoctoral Fellowship
Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland), 2013, Ph.D. in Biological Sciences
University College Cork (Ireland), 2009, B.Sc. in Biomedical Science
The Bullman Lab focuses firstly on understanding the translational impact of the tumor microbiota in human cancers, and secondly on the delineation of specific mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of microbe-associated human cancers. We combine molecular microbiology, computational biology, biochemistry, and genetics to understand host-microbial interactions within the tumor microenvironment. Through such efforts, we seek to make discoveries that have both a scientific and clinical impact in the emerging area of bacterial-associated malignancies. Bacterial agents that have a role in cancer initiation or progression provide a viable route for prevention and treatment of these cancers.
The laboratory has a particular interest in the colorectal cancer associated bacterium, Fusobacterium nucleatum. Utilizing state-of-the-art functional and computational approaches, we aim to improve the understanding of processes that contribute to Fusobacterium-associated cancer, its contribution to the tumor microenvironment and accelerate the development of new targeted therapeutics or personalized approaches that take in to account the tumor microbiota for cancer treatment.