Peter B. Ernst, DVM, PhD
H. pylori-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in gastric cell growth and differentiation
The Ernst research group's interest is in the area of gastrointestinal inflammation with specific interests in lymphoepithelial cell interactions in H. pylori infection. Their work is focused on understanding the factors that select for T cell differentiation that promotes gastric inflammation. The ultimate goal of understanding the pathogenesis of these diseases is to enhance the design of immunotherapies for the treatment or prevention of chronic gastrointestinal inflammation including gastric cancer.
Dr. Ernst has collaborated with several investigators interested in gastric cancer. This resulted in him joining the Gastric Cancer Working Group. This group has been active since 2001 and includes Drs. Crowe, El-Rafai, Powell, Roche, Smith and Zaika. During that time, substantial progress has been made as they have identified markers related to gastric cancer in patients as well as developed an animal model and in vitro systems with which to study this lethal disease. Their hope is that their new insights will lead to novel therapeutic interventions that can be tested in the animal model and then applied in translational studies with the aim of preventing the development of gastric cancer in humans. This interaction has facilitated the development of new projects with Drs. Crowe and Smith that have led to successful grant applications and co-authored publications.