Science

Long-Time Scientist Works to Prove Chemistry’s Place in Cancer Research

Larry Keefer, Ph.D.

By Carolynne Keenan, Contributing Writer

When Larry Keefer, Ph.D., first arrived at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) more than 40 years ago, he didn’t have a physical lab to call his own. Not immediately, anyway, due to a glitch in the construction schedule, he explained.                  

So he spent his first few years in Bethesda doing administrative work, like reviewing proposals and serving as a project officer on contracts.

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Gut Microorganisms Found Necessary for Successful Cancer Therapy

Group photo of four scientists

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By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

Humans play host to trillions of microorganisms that help our bodies perform basic functions, like digestion, growth, and fighting disease. In fact, bacterial cells outnumber the human cells in our bodies by 10 to 1.1

The tens of trillions of microorganisms thriving in our intestines are known as gut microbiota, and those that are not harmful to us are referred to as commensal microbiota. In a recent paper in Science, NCI scientists described their discovery that, in mice, the presence of commensal microbiota is needed for successful response to cancer therapy.

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