Department of Genetics
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Scott Bultman, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina. He studies mouse models of human disease and is particularly interested in epigenetics and the role of gut microbiota in colorectal cancer. As a graduate student at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he cloned the agouti coat-color gene. As a postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University, he knocked out the BRG1 chromatin remodeler and demonstrated that it is required for embryogenesis and also functions as a tumor suppressor. He has continued this project in his own lab by creating an allelic series of Brg1 mutations to study its function in a range of tissues and physiologic processes. He has expanded his research program to include the study of diet-gut microbiota interactions in host epigenetics and cancer susceptibility. This line of work, which is now the primary focus of his lab, is investigating the microbial fermentation of fiber into butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid that functions as an energy source and a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. This work has revealed a “metaboloepigenetic” mechanism of tumor suppression as described in a number of recent publications in high-impact journals such as Cell Metabolism, Molecular Cell, and Cancer Discovery.
Supported by grants from the NIH, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research), Dr. Bultman has published over 70 papers and book chapters and has served the community in a variety of capacities. He is a member of the NIH-funded Mutant Mouse Regional Research Centers (MMRRC) consortium. He has advised The American Cancer Society (ACS), served on a number of NIH study sections as well as other federal agencies and foundations that support research on diet and cancer prevention such as the USDA and the AICR.