Meet New Investigator Stephen Obaro, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

April 03, 2014

Image with caption: Stephen Obaro, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

Stephen Obaro, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the 16 researchers and one community member who will be honored at an April 21 ceremony. The recipients include the 2013 Scientist Laureate, six New Investigators, eight Distinguished Scientists, two Research Leadership awardees, and a Community Service to Research honoree.

  • Name Stephen Obaro, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor of pediatrics
  • Joined UNMC: July 2012
  • Hometown: Global citizen -- born in Nigeria, lived in the United Kingdom, Gambia and the United States (Rhode Island, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Lansing, Mich., and Omaha).

Describe your research in layman's terms.
My research aims to understand the causes of serious bacterial infections in children in less resourced countries. We investigate the causes of these infections, and how the immune system in these young children responds to the infection. We are particularly interested in the vulnerable populations in these settings, such as those with a weakened immune system from human immune deficiency virus, sickle cell hemoglobin disorder and malnutrition.

How do you want your research to translate to benefit patients?
The ultimate goal is to have our results translated into the development of new tests for the early detection of serious bacterial infections and the development and application of new vaccines for the prevention of these infections.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Stay focused but open minded.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I survived several episodes of serious infections of childhood.
  • My father was a nurse, who passively inspired my interest in medicine.
  • I was director of my college gospel choir and high school debate team.


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Eziyi Iche Kalu
March 12, 2016 at 1:26 AM

Congrats Sir! As an Infectious Disease Pathologist practicing in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, I feel great learning about a Nigerian whose passion for Infectious diseases has produced so much. Pls may I know if you are also making efforts in Nigeria. I desire to be part it, from my end. Meeting you will be a lifetime achievement. High Regards, Dr E. I. Kalu.; +2348064172438

Abu James
May 01, 2015 at 1:53 AM

You are a true inspiration, I'm so glad to be in your team. Congrats Sir.

Grace A. J. Ugwuanya
March 15, 2015 at 11:08 AM

Feeling privileged to be part of this project. Thanks for your interest in detection of bacterial infection among the vulnerable population.

Lisa Spellman
April 03, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Thank-you for the work you are doing Dr. Obaro, it's so important on so many different levels.