Imagine yourself as the head of a funding agency (like the National Institute of Health) in which your job is to look at proposals for research projects and decide what projects to award funding. Based on your readings this term, discuss a research project (or projects) that you would be most excited about funding as they relate to learning more about microbial influences on human health. As part of your response, consider what are we likely to learn from the project and how that might be important in future healthcare decisions.
As the head of the funding agency NIH, I would be most excited in funding research investigating the relationship between microbes and cancer. Cancer adversely affects the lives of millions worldwide. From the project, we are most likely to learn specific DNA-damaging toxins and carcinogenic metabolites produced by microbes that may promote proliferation as well as the mechanisms of action. We are also likely to learn which microbes are associated with cancer; this may be important in future healthcare decisions as health experts can suggest how to promote a healthy microbial community with decreased diversity of cancer-associated microbes. Not only will we gain insight into the relationship between microbes and cancer, but we may gain knowledge about other important aspects of uncontrolled cell growth and proliferation.