CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS:
The Microbiology, Pathogenesis and Epidemiology of Bacterial Enteric Diseases
My major interest is in bacterial infections that continue to be a major public health problem around the world. The major areas of research in our laboratory include the microbiology, pathogenesis and epidemiology of bacterial enteric diseases.
Our current research focuses on the study of the gram negative bacteria Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni. H. pylori is among the most common bacteria that colonize humans. Nearly 50% of the world's adult population carries this organism. Our interest is toward the characterization of the human immune response to major H. pylori antigens, and to understand the role of virulence factors of H. pylori associated with different clinical outcomes (including peptic ulcer disease and gastric neoplasia). In that regard, we also are working to understand the nature of the association of H. pylori with gastric carcinoma.
Another area of interest in our current studies is to determine how H. pylori is acquired and to describe the early stages of the natural history of the colonization of children. These studies combine epidemiologic approaches with clinical and basic immunology, as well as using molecular probes and amplification techniques for analysis.