June 25, 2021

Researcher and cancer survivor seeks to understand why post-treatment issues persist

Julie Deleemans researches long-term impact of cancer treatments on patients’ gastrointestinal and mental health

Julie Deleemans, a PhD candidate at the Cumming School of Medicine, was diagnosed with cancer at age 18, and she remembers the issues she experienced post-treatment, particularly gut and mental health problems.

“I suffered a lot after my cancer diagnosis, and I didn’t want other people to suffer as much as I did,” says Deleemans.

Deleemans is working on a study called the chemo gut study, which looks at how treatments for cancer affect the gut microbiota of patients. She has theorized that cancer treatments disturb the gut microbiome, which in turn causes the long-term gut and mental health issues that she and other survivors experience.

Deleemans conducts and presents her research alongside Dr. Faye Chleilat, PhD, with whom she has formed an academic bond and close friendship