Gut Instinct: Screening for Signs of Cancer


This image, submitted by Steffen Rickelt of the Hynes Laboratory at the Koch Institute, shows a cross-section of cells from a healthy colon.


Steffen Rickelt
Hynes Laboratory
Koch Institute at MIT

Uncovering the telltale signs of a cancer’s spread is expensive and time-consuming.  This image shows the groundwork for a new screening method using a technique known as immunohistochemistry. Biologists have stained cells in a cross-section from the human large intestine (colon) and measured their response to antibodies reactive with metastatic colon tumors. By comparing these findings with known protein markers for healthy and diseased tissues, researchers aim to predict how patients will respond to different treatments as their cancers evolve.

Funding: Postdoctoral fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) RI2408/1-1


Steffen Rickelt shares the story behind his award-winning image.

You can also watch his presentation at the exhibition opening event on March 10, 2015 or the teaser video on the Koch Institute's Facebook page.