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About Dr Elizabeth Rettedal

  Dr Elizabeth Rettedal

Biography Summary

Dr. Elizabeth Rettedal is a Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Cork Cancer Research Centre at University College Cork. She works on the isolation and detection of bacteria in tumours for their use as therapeutic vectors to treat cancer.

Theme / Team

Microbes & Cancer

Cancer type(s)

Lung cancer, Prostate cancer, Renal cancer, Brain cancer, Kidney cancer


+353 (0) 21 420 5707

Email Address


Biography Detailed

Dr. Rettedal received her PhD in Microbiology from South Dakota State University where her research focused on microbial ecology with particular interests in understanding bacterial community dynamics and improving the cultivation of bacteria from the soil. She then completed a post-doc at the Technical University of Denmark working on antibiotic resistance in the human gut microbiome and developing techniques to improve the cultivation of bacteria from the human gut. Recent research has identified bacteria that localize directly to tumour tissues.

As these bacteria can be quite specific in targeting tumour tissue, their use as vectors for drug delivery is an exciting prospect because they could potentially locally destroy cancer cells with minimal effects on the rest of the body. The current lack of success in identifying effective bacterial vectors can be attributed to the inability of the utilized bacteria to colonize in human tumour tissues. It would therefore be highly desirable to identify and use bacteria known to naturally colonize human tumours. Dr. Rettedal’s current research at CCRC focuses on the isolation and identification of bacteria found in human cancerous tumours with the aim of using these bacteria as directed vectors for cancer therapy.