The Yun lab will decode the molecular connection between sugary drinks and the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). Sugary drinks are sweetened mainly with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which consists of half glucose and half fructose. Initial work by my lab found that the chronic intake of a modest amount of HFCS that mimics one can of soda in humans directly increased the size and number of tumors in a mouse model of CRC. My group also found that HFCS increased the population of certain gut microbes and activated molecular pathways tied to CRC. Now we will tease out the tumorigenic effects of HFCS on CRC in mice harboring a human gut microbiome. Using this model, I will assess the impact of HFCS on the size, number, and grade of colon tumors formed. Additionally, I will analyze how HFCS alters the composition of gut microbes and their metabolism, and how these changes lead to CRC. Work from this study will untangle the complex relationship between diet and gut health and identify innovative biomarkers for the prevention and treatment of CRC.