Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation & Cancer

Pictured: Joao Xavier & Eric Pamer Eric Pamer (right, pictured with computational biologist Joao Xavier) leads the Lucille Castori Center. He studies how the immune system combats infections.

Experts estimate that as many as 30 percent of all cancers result from infection with a microbe, such as a virus or bacterium, or from the inflammation caused by an infection. Additionally, infection is one of the leading complications for patients undergoing cancer treatment.

Memorial Sloan Kettering created the Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation, and Cancer (CMIC) to shed light on the role that microbes and the body’s inflammatory and immunological responses to them play in the development of cancer.

The Castori Center unites researchers in the areas of molecular biology, immunology, computational biology, and microbiology and members of the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Services. Its mission is to promote research to:

  • develop technologies to examine the causes of infections in patients
  • characterize infections associated with cancer treatment and hospitalization
  • study how inflammation can promote the development of cancer
  • study the relationships between specific microbes and the development or progression of cancer

Members of the center also organize workshops and symposia focusing on cutting-edge approaches to characterizing complex microbial populations that inhabit the human intestine, identifying microbes associated with the development of cancer, and discovering microbial molecules that limit cancer growth or prevent infections.

The creation of the Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation, and Cancer and the new Molecular Microbiology Core Facility was made possible with a grant from The Tow Foundation. The new center is named in honor of Lucille Castori, the sister of Claire Tow.