Maria Rosario (Happy) G. Araneta, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the UCSD School of Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from UCSD and PhD in Epidemiology from Yale University. She directs the UCSD Filipino Health Study, a clinical study of osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among Filipino men and women. Her research interests include pediatric HIV/AIDS, birth defects, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and ethnic health disparities. She collaborates with the University of the Philippines, the University of Hawaii, and Tijuana General Hospital. Her teaching responsibilities include lectures on epidemiology and guiding research projects of medical and doctoral students.
Dr. Araneta has published 35 articles in scientific journals and one book chapter, and has served as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Obesity, Diabetes Care, Teratology, and the International Journal of Epidemiology. She was an invited speaker at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, the Royal Society of Medicine (England), the Philippine Heart Association, the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Federation of Endocrine Societies. Her research has been presented nationally and at international conferences in Sweden, Canada, Germany, Italy, England, Thailand, Spain, the Philippines, and Mexico. Her press appearances include interviews on CNN, MS-NBC, WFAA (ABC affiliate, Dallas), Johannesburg (South Africa) radio, the Associated Press, the New York Times and the Washington Post .
Dr. Weg Ongkeko
Dr. Ongkeko is a faculty member in the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford.
Dr. Ongkeko’s main research interest is on cancer stem cells, a very small population of cells within tumors that have unique properties and are responsible for tumor initiation, resistance to apoptotic stimuli, tumor invasion, and metastasis. His laboratory’s focus is on characterizing head and neck cancer stem cells to better understand how to target them for therapy.