Dr. Iliyan D. Iliev, Associate Professor of Immunology and Microbiology, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has received a five-year $1.25 million CRI Lloyd J. Old STAR (Scientists Taking Risks) Program grant from the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). This grant is given to gifted, mid-career scientists who are working at the intersection of immunology, technology, and bioinformatics. Its aim is to support high-risk/high-reward research that has the potential to transform cancer patient responses to immunotherapy and will enable Dr. Iliev to continue his research on the relationships between certain types of fungi and specific cancers.
Dr. Iliev, who is an expert on fungal and bacterial organisms linked to inflammatory bowel diseases, states, “We found that some patients carry specific fungal strains that expand and produce a toxin that affected inflammation. One of the questions is whether the presence of these and other fungi influence cancer development and outcomes. This funding is fantastic because it allows us to go in with an early hypothesis and gives us the freedom to go after what is really interesting in search of new and exciting ideas.”
The WDOM congratulates Dr. Iliev on receiving this prestigious award that will provide the opportunity to cross-fertilize the cancer field with discoveries about fungal and bacterial organisms linked to the inflammatory bowel diseases he studies.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Iliev is a member of the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and serves as the co-Director of the Microbiome Core Lab.