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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Maria Constanza Camargo, Ph.D.

Earl Stadtman Investigator

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Maria Constanza Camargo, Ph.D.

Maria Constanza Camargo, Ph.D.

Organization:National Cancer Institute
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Metabolic Epidemiology Branch
Address:NCI Shady Grove
Room 6E338
Phone:240-276-7175
E-mail:camargomc@mail.nih.gov

Biography

Dr. Camargo earned an M.S. in epidemiology from the School of Public Health in Mexico, an M.H.A degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, and a Ph.D. in public health with concentration in epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She conducted her dissertation work at the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch (IIB) on the role of Epstein-Barr virus infection in gastric carcinogenesis. She joined IIB as a postdoctoral fellow in 2010 and became an Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) in 2016.

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Camargo was a member of the research group led by Dr. Pelayo Correa, first at Louisiana State University and then at Vanderbilt University, studying gastric cancer and its primary risk factor, Helicobacter pylori infection.

Research Interests

H. pylori and Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Dr. Camargo maintains a robust research program with a multidisciplinary team of international collaborators applying cutting edge molecular epidemiology to the study of H. pylori, premalignant and malignant gastric lesions.

As a co-PI with Charles Rabkin, M.D., senior investigator in IIB, Dr. Camargo recently launched the H. pylori Genome Project (HpGP). The HpGP will establish a large-scale international biobank of clinically annotated H. pylori strains for molecular studies addressing the role of bacterial diversity in the gastric cancer cascade. For this important initiative, Dr. Camargo has partnered with investigators from the Division of Gastroenterology at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Camargo is currently planning a new field effort aimed to elucidate the risk factors for advanced premalignant lesions, and potential non-invasive biomarkers for risk stratification in high-risk populations in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia.

Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC)

As a smaller research effort, Dr. Camargo is collaborating with Sandy Dawsey, M.D. and Christian Abnet, Ph.D., M.P.H., in MEB to design and conduct studies of ESCC in endemic Asian and African populations. Her research focuses on the evaluation of infections and potential biomarkers for screening.