Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist Osarenoma U. Olomu, M.D., studies chronic sinusitis, with a particular focus on allergic fungal sinusitis and fungus ball (mycetoma) sinusitis. Dr. Olomu uses genomic and proteomic tools to study different types of fungal sinusitis and investigate why they affect people in different ways.
Additionally, Dr. Olomu is interested in socioeconomic and geographic factors in allergic fungal sinusitis. In the United States, the most harmful variations of allergic fungal sinusitis are mainly seen in urban environments in the South, while fungus ball sinusitis is more common in colder northern regions.
Fungus ball sinusitis infections tend to stay contained within the sinuses, causing fewer and less severe health problems than those caused by allergic fungal sinusitis. However, in warmer, damper southern environments, allergic fungal sinusitis often spreads beyond the sinuses. This can cause severe complications such as vision loss and brain abscesses. Additionally, infections are more likely to recur. Dr. Olomu's research is aimed at understanding why these differences occur in order to prevent infections that are more severe, more likely to recur, or both.
Dr. Olomu is studying the host and fungal factors involved in unique phenotypes of allergic fungal sinusitis. These factors include:
- The immune system, including allergies to fungi and differences or weaknesses in an individual's immune system that allow infections to progress
- Different types of fungi prevalent in northern versus southern climates
- Variations in how the same fungus may grow differently or affect people differently in different climates
Significance to patient care
Dr. Olomu's research is aimed at better understanding the biology of allergic fungal sinusitis in order to find therapies that prevent recurrence. He is studying how laboratory analyses can point to the causes of patients' infections and lead to potential treatments.
- Vice chair for education, Department of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, 2021-present
- Reviewer, Journal of Neurological Surgery Part B: Skull Base, 2020-present
- Reviewer, International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, 2015-present