Marygorret Obonyo, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive
Telephone: (858) 822-0216
Dr. Obonyo's research focuses on the immunological basis for Helicobacter pylori-related malignancies. In 1994, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared Helicobacter pylori to be a gastric pathogen, a Class I carcinogen. H. pylori colonizes the human gastric epithelium, causing chronic gastritis leading to ulceration, gastric lymphoma, and adenocarcinoma.
Progression to gastric cancer involves some important cellular changes, which include cell proliferation and apoptosis. Exact mechanisms by which chronic infection with this organism leads to gastritis and carcinogenesis are yet to be defined.
Dr. Obonyo is studying the role of the host immune response to H. pylori in the development of gastric cancer. Specifically, she is investigating the interactions between H. pylori-induced host inflammatory mediators and gastric epithelial cell cycle genes in the dysregulation of the balance between apoptosis and cell proliferation.