Jonathan Sholl


Jonathan Sholl

Who am I ?

I am a philosopher of medicine currently working as a post-doctoral researcher on Thomas Pradeu’s ERC grant about the microbiota and cancer. This will eventually transition into a second post-doctoral project through Bordeaux University.

In 2014, I earned my PhD from KU Leuven (Belgium) working on the concepts of health and disease and the philosophy of Georges Canguilhem, before doing a post-doctorate also at Leuven about the concept of medicalization within medical sociology. From September 2016 to June 2020, I was an assistant professor of medical philosophy at Aarhus University (Denmark) where I taught to both philosophy and medical students.

What is my research project ?

My research background has primarily focused on how to use the physiological and biological sciences to help clarify the concepts of health and disease, and my general aim has been to try to develop a theory of health based on these sciences. I have done research on evolutionary biology, systems biology/physiology (e.g. the notions of robustness, plasticity, resilience, allostasis), on biogerontology (e.g. homeodynamics, hormesis), and am now getting further into immunology and microbiology.

My current project involves looking at recent research into how human microbiota shape the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. I am interested in how this alters the way we think about the patient (e.g. as a holobiont, metaorganism, scaffolded hybrid, etc.) and in the conceptual and practical problems that such research raises, e.g. broadening the focus on tissue microenvironments to include the whole organism and delineating the various complexities of microbe-host, host-microbe, and microbe-microbe dynamics as they pertain to understanding and treating cancer and other chronic diseases.

From there, I would like to explore the links between cancer and aging, and the multiple problems with nutrition research, especially as it pertains to cancer and aging interventions.