Despite rapid shifts in global factors, H. pylori is still estimated to infect half of the world’s population. Gastric cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. H. pylori is the dominant risk factor, accounting for approximately 90% of gastric cancer cases. Therefore, there continues to be a compelling need to understand the host-pathogen interaction of H. pylori with the host. Our recent publications on the Colombia Chemoprevention Cohort show that subjects persistently H. pylori-infected over a 16-year (Gut, 2018) and 20-year (Gastroenterology, 2021) follow-up period have increased histologic disease progression. The ongoing inflammatory stimulus of H. pylori infection is a contributing factor to gastric carcinogenesis. Because antibiotics alone may not always prevent cancer, we need new discoveries and new adjunctive strategies. A major focus of our Lab is to define new insights into H. pylori immunopathogenesis and gastric cancer development. A second area of focus is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which affects over 3 million people in the USA. IBD has high risk for leading to colorectal cancer (CRC). We seek to develop molecular strategies for IBD treatment and CRC prevention.
Student Host: Yanheng Chen, Herbert E. Carter Fellow