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Otoniel Martinez-Maza, Ph.D.
Otoniel Martinez-Maza, Ph.D.


Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Member, JCCC Tumor Immunology Program Area

Contact Information:

(310) 825-2542

Scientific Interest(s):

Dr. Otto Martinez-Maza's research focuses on immune dysfunction and cancer, as well as AIDS pathogenesis.

A major objective of Mart?nez-Maza's work over the last several years has been to define HIV infection-associated immune system changes that precede, and contribute to, AIDS-associated non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma (AIDS-lymphoma). This includes studies to determine if elevated levels of B-cell-stimulatory cytokines precede the development of AIDS-lymphoma, and/or if polymorphisms in the genes encoding B-cell-stimulatory cytokines are associated with an elevated risk for the development of AIDS-lymphoma. In recent work, it was seen that elevated IL10 production, as well as a genetic predisposition toward higher production of IL10 (an IL10 promoter SNP at -592 associated with relatively higher expression of this cytokine), were risk factors for the development of AIDS-lymphoma. In other work, Martinez-Maza's group has examined the immunobiology of the HHV8-encoded IL6 homologue (viral interleukin-6 - vIL6), as well as the role of immune dysfunction in the pathogenesis of gynecologic cancers, including those associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Mart?nez-Maza is actively involved in several national and international multi-center studies of cancer or AIDS and HIV infection. He serves as the chairman of the Malignancies Working Group in the Multi-center AIDS Cohort Study, is a member of the Laboratory Working Group in the AIDS Malignancies Consortium, and participates in Interlymph, an international consortium of researchers with an interest in the epidemiology and pathogenesis of lymphoma.

Selected Cancer-Related Publications:

Thapa DR, Bhatia K, Bream JH, D?souza G, Rinaldo CR, Wolinsky S, Detels R, Martinez-Maza O, Martinez-Maza O. B-cell activation induced microRNA-21 is elevated in circulating B cells preceding the diagnosis of AIDS-related non-Hodgkin lymphomas. AIDS. 2012 Jun 1;26(9):1177-80.

Breen EC, Hussain S, Magpantay L, Jacobson L, Detels R, Rabkin CS, Kaslow RA, Variakojis D, Bream JH, Rinaldo C, Ambinder R, Martinez-Maza O, Hussain SK, Jacobson LP, Rinaldo CR, Ambinder RF. B-cell stimulatory cytokines and markers of immune activation are elevated several years prior to the diagnosis of systemic AIDS-associated non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Jul;20(7):1303-14. Epub 2011 Apr 28

Thapa DR, Li X, Jamieson BD, Martinez-Maza O. Overexpression of microRNAs from the miR-17-92 paralog clusters in AIDS-related non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. PLoS One. 2011 Jun 16;6(6):e20781.

Widney DP, Gui D, Popoviciu LM, Said JW, Breen EC, Huang X, Kitchen CM, Alcantar JM, Smith JB, Detels R, Martinez-Maza O. Expression and Function of the Chemokine, CXCL13, and Its Receptor, CXCR5, in Aids-Associated Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. AIDS Res Treat. 2010 Aug 25;2010:164586.

Epeldegui M, Hung YP, McQuay A, Ambinder RF, Martinez-Maza O. Infection of human B cells with Epstein-Barr virus results in the expression of somatic hypermutation-inducing molecules and in the accrual of oncogene mutations. Mol Immunol. 2007 Feb;44(5):934-42. Epub 2006 May 26