Microbiome and Cancer: Meriem Messaoudene Receives $200,000 from the Seerave Foundation

- 2 min
Meriem Messaoudene

Meriem Messaoudene, a postdoctoral student in Dr. Bertrand Routy’s laboratory, was chosen by the Seerave Foundation, a philanthropic organization, and will receive $200,000 to continue her work on castalagin for two years.

In early 2022, the scientist and her team showed for the first time in mice that polyphenol, derived from the camu camu berry from Brazil, acted as a prebiotic, modifying the gut microbiome and improving immunotherapy response, even for immunotherapy-resistant cancers.

In June, Meriem Messaoudene went to Vienna, Austria, to present her work to the Seerave Foundation and to an audience of experts in the microbiome and cancer field.

“It was pretty incredible to be the only representative of a Canadian team among these American, Israeli, French and Dutch research groups. Only five other teams in the world have received funding and were present! With this grant, we will try to better understand the mechanisms of action of castalagin and how it manages to have a beneficial impact on the microbiome.”

At the CRCHUM’s Unit for Innovative Therapies, a clinical trial was launched in July of this year, using the camu camu berry as a complement to drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer and melanoma patients.

Finally, by talking to the other teams in Vienna, the researcher was also pleased to find that the CRCHUM’s infrastructures are state-of-the-art, placing the research centre among the most competitive in the “microbiome and cancer” field.


Microbiome and Cancer: Meriem Messaoudene Receives $200,000 from the Seerave Foundation