Experimental Therapeutics - Javier Gordon Ogembo

Javier Gordon Ogembo, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Immuno-Oncology

Javier Gordon Ogembo, Ph.D.

Research Focus :
  • Understand the biology of oncogenic viruses and their entry and replication mechanisms with an aim to develop VLP –based vaccines to protect or treat infections
  • 2018-present, Assistant Professor, Department of Immuno-Oncology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2016-2018, Assistant Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2012-2016, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
  • 2010-2012, Adjunct Professor, Northeastern University, College of Professional Studies, Boston, MA
  • 2010-2012, Adjunct Lecturer, Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • 2009-2012, Adjunct Lecturer, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
  • 2008-2012, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 2008-2012, Laboratory Safety Officer, Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center, Boston, MA
  • 2008-2012, Teaching Assistant, Harvard Medical School, Boston, CA2008-2012, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 2005-2008, Teaching Assistant, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 2002-2003, Teaching Assistant, Cell and Molecular Virology, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 2001-2002, Visiting Scientist, Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, United Kingdom
  • 1999-2001, Research Assistant, International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi
  • 2008, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Ph.D., Virology and Biotechnology
  • 2002, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, M.Sc., Tropical Entomology
  • 1999, Egerton University, Nairobi, Kenya, B.Sc., Horticulture

Dr. Ogembo's research is focused on several aspects of host pathogen interactions, with specific focus on the mechanisms by which oncogenic viruses [Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), and human papillomavirus (HPV)] bypass cellular barriers and host immune responses, a critical step required for the development of effective vaccines.

Over the years, Dr. Ogembo's work resulted in the development of novel virus-like particles (VLP)-based polyvalent candidate vaccines comprised of EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1), latent membrane protein 2  (cancer biomarkers), and several viral glycoproteins capable of inducing high neutralizing antibody titers and protective T-cell responses in mouse models. We are currently extending this work into the development of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against KSHV and HPV associated cancers.

Joslyn Foley
Research Associate II
[email protected]
Postdoctoral Fellow
Murali Bagalur Muniraju, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
Lorraine Mutsvunguma, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
Peng Ye, M.D.
Research Associate II
[email protected]
  • Barasa A, Ye P, Phelps M, Arivudainambi G, Tison T, Ogembo JG. BALB/c mice immunized with a combination of virus-like particles incorporating Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) envelope glycoprotein B and gH/gL induced comparable serum neutralizing antibody activity to UV-inactivated KSHV. Oncotarget, 2017. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.15605 
  • DeGregorio G, Manga S, Kiyang E, Manjuh F, Bradford L, Cholli P, Wamai R, Ogembo R, Sando Z, Liu Y, Sheldon LK, Nulah K, Welty T, Welty E, Ogembo JG. Implementing a nurse led fee-for-service cervical cancer screening and treatment program in Cameroon: challenges and opportunities. The Oncologist Global Health and Cancer, 2017. In Press. 
  • Perez E, Foley J, Tison T, Silva R, Ogembo JG. Novel Epstein-Barr virus-like particles incorporating gH/gL-EBNA1 or gB-LMP2 induce high neutralizing antibodies and EBV-specific T-cell responses in immunized mice. Oncotarget, 2016. PMID: 27926486 
  • Weiss ER, Alter G, Ogembo JG, Henderson JL, Tabak B, Bakiş Y, Somasundaran M, Garber M, Selin L, Luzuriaga K. High EBV load and genomic diversity are associated with generation of gp350 specific neutralizing antibodies following Acute Infectious Mononucleosis. Journal of Virology, 2016 pp.JVI-01562. PMID: 27733645 
  • DeGregorio GA, Bradford LS, Manga S, Tih PM, Wamai R, Ogembo R, Sando Z, Y. Liu Y, Schwaiger C, Rao, SR, Kalmakis, K, Sheldon, LK, Nulah, K, Welty E, Welty T, Ogembo JG. Prevalence, Predictors, and Same Day Treatment of Positive VIA Enhanced by Digital Cervicography and Histopathology Results in a Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Cameroon. PloS one. 2016;11(6):e0157319. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157319. PMID: 27280882 
  • Masika MM, Ogembo JG, Chabeda SV, Wamai RG, Mugo N. Knowledge on HPV Vaccine and Cervical Cancer Facilitates Vaccine Acceptability among School Teachers in Kitui County, Kenya. PloS one. 2015;10(8):e0135563. PMC4534439. 
  • Ogembo JG, Muraswki MR, McGinnes LW, Parcharidou A, Sutiwisesak R, Tison T, Avendano J, Agnani D, Finberg RW, Morrison TG, Fingeroth JD. A chimeric EBV gp350/220-based VLP replicates the virion B-cell attachment mechanism and elicits long-lasting neutralizing antibodies in mice. J Transl Med. 2015 Feb 6;13(1):50. PMID: 25885535; PMC4328182. 
  • Ogembo RK, Gona PN, Seymour AJ, Park HS, Bain PA, Maranda L, Ogembo JG. Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes among African Women with Normal Cervical Cytology and Neoplasia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2015;10(4):e0122488. PMID: 25875167; PMC4396854. 
  • Manga S, Parham,G, Nulah K, Nkoum B, Nulah K, Sheldon LK, Welty E, Ogembo JG, Bradford L, Sando Z, Shield R, and Welty T.. Cervical cancer screening in Cameroon: Interobserver agreement on the interpretation of results of visual inspection with acetic acid enhanced by digital cervicography. J. Lower Genital Tract Disease 2015; Oct;19(4):288-94. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000133. PMID: 26164295. 
  • Pelowski, M; Wamai, R.G., Wangombe, J., Nyakundi, H., Oduwo, G., Ngugi, B.K and Ogembo, J.G. Why don’t you register your child? A study of attitudes and factors affecting birth registration in Kenya, and policy suggestions. Journal of Development Studies. 2015; 881-904. 
  • Ogembo JG, Kannan L, Ghiran I, Nicholson-Weller A, Finberg RW, Tsokos GC, Fingeroth JD. Human complement receptor type 1/CD35 is an Epstein-Barr virus receptor. Cell Rep. 2013 Feb 21;3(2):371-85. PMID: 23416052; PMCID: PMC3633082. 
  • Ogembo JG, Manga S, Nulah K, Foglabenchi LH, Perlman S, Wamai RG, Welty T, Welty E, Tih P. Achieving high uptake of human papillomavirus vaccine in Cameroon: lessons learned in overcoming challenges. Vaccine. 2014 Jul 31;32(35):4399-403. PMID: 24968154. 
  • Perlman S, Wamai RG, Bain PA, Welty T, Welty E, Ogembo JG. Knowledge and awareness of HPV vaccine and acceptability to vaccinate in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e90912. PMID: 24618636; PMCID: PMC3949716. 
  • Wamai RG, Ayissi CA, Oduwo GO, Perlman S, Welty E, Welty T, Manga S, Onyango MA, Ogembo JG. Awareness, knowledge and beliefs about HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccines among nurses in Cameroon: an exploratory study. Int J Nurs Stud. 2013 Oct;50(10):1399-406. PMID: 23395482. 
  • Ogembo J.G, Milner D, Mansfield K, Rodig S., Kutok J, Pinkus G, Iafrate AJ, and Fingeroth JD. SIRPα/CD172a and FHOD1 are unique markers of littoral cells, a recently evolved major cell population of red pulp of human spleen. J Immunology. 2012; 188 (9). 4496-505. PMID: 22490440; PMC3331893 
  • Wamai RG, Ayissi CA, Oduwo GO, Perlman S, Welty E, Manga S, Ogembo JG. Assessing the effectiveness of a community-based sensitization strategy in creating awareness about HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccine among parents in North West Cameroon. J Community Health. 2012 Oct;37(5):917-26. PMID: 22302651. 
  • Ayissi CA, Wamai RG, Oduwo GO, Perlman S, Welty E, Welty T, Manga S, Ogembo JG. Awareness, acceptability and uptake of human papilloma virus vaccine among Cameroonian school-attending female adolescents. J Community Health. 2012 Dec;37(6):1127-35. PMID: 22426995. 
  • Ogembo JG, Caoili BL, Shikata M, Chaeychomsri S, Kobayashi M, Ikeda M. Comparative genomic sequence analysis of novel Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) isolated from Kenya and three other previously sequenced Helicoverpa spp. NPVs. Virus Genes. 2009 Oct;39(2):261-72. PMID: 19634008. 
  • Ogembo JG, Kunjeku EC, Sithanantham S. A preliminary study on the pathogenicity of two isolates of nucleopolyhedroviruses infecting African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). International Journal of Insect Science. 2005; 25:218-222. 
  • Ogembo JG, Chaeychomsri S, Kamiya K, Ishikawa H, Katou Y, Ikeda M, Kobayashi M. Cloning and comparative characterization of nucleopolyhedrovirus isolated from African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in different regions. Journal of Insect Biotechnology and Sericology. 2007 October 06; 76:39-49. 
  • Ogembo JG, Chaeychomsri S, Caoili BL, Ikeda M, Kobayashi M. Susceptibility of newly established cell lines from Helicoverpa armigera against homologous and heterologous nucleopolyhedroviruses. Journal of Insect Biotechnology and Sericology. 2008; 77:25-34. 
  • Ogembo JG. Susceptibility of the cell line Hv-AM1 from Heliothis virescens to eight selected nucleopolyhedroviruses. Journal of Insect Biotechnology and Sericology. 2008; 77:141-150. 
  • Ogembo JG, Ngugi B. and Pelowski, M. Computerizing Primary Schools in Rural Kenya: Outstanding Challenges and Possible Solutions. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. 2012; 52: (6) 1-17. 
  • Ngugi B, Pelowski M and Ogembo JG. M-PESA: A Case Study of the Critical Early Adopters’ Role in the Rapid Adoption of Mobile Money Banking in Kenya. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries 2010; 43:1-16. 

View  a compelete list of publications

  • The American Society of Virology (ASV)
  • American Association of Immunology (AAI)
  • American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
  • The Japanese Society of Sericultural Science (JSSS)
  • The African Association of Insect Scientists (AAIS)
  • African Regional Postgraduate Programme of Insect Scientist (ARPPIS)
  • Feedforth (FF)
  • Sambaza Group (SG)
  • The World Mind Networks
  • 2009–2012, Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Research Institute
  • 2008–2009, Postdoctoral Fellowship, NIH-Harvard Medical School
  • 2004–2008, Japanese Government Scholar, Monbukagusho
  • 2003–2004, Innovation Research Fund Fellow, Witwatersrand University
  • 2002–2002, Research Scholar, Horticulture Research International
  • 2001–2002, African Regional Postgraduate Program in Insect Science (ARPPIS), ICIPE
  • 1995–1999, Kenya Government Scholar, The Government of Republic of Kenya
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