Graduate Faculty in Oral Biology

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Graduate Faculty in Oral Biology

Mansur Ahmad, PhD, BDS, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences. Our aim is to develop a tissue-engineering graft system to restore surgical resection of cancer patients. Currently, we are developing a 3D cell culture system combining osteoblasts and endothelial cells, and we are exploring the effects of radiation on these cell types.

Conrado Aparicio, PhD, Department of Restorative Sciences.  Research interests: surface modification of metals for dental implants and other biomaterials; biomineralization of synthetic materials and tissues; biomimetic systems and synthetic materials for biomedical applications; regeneration of hard tissues; synthetic peptides and self-assembly.

Alvin J. Beitz, PhD, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine. Research interests: Localization of glutamate and cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system; use of microdialysis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to study peptide and protein release from tumors, from sites of inflammation and from brainstem nuclei; analysis of changes in transmitter and receptor mRNAs in the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia and in the trigeminal nuclear complex in models of TMJ and muscle pain and in a mouse cancer pain model.

David A. Bereiter, PhD, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences. Research interests: Central neural mechanisms of craniofacial pain; neurophysiological analyses of sensory integration, anatomical correlates of chronic inflammatory pain; neurotransmitter release; sex differences in craniofacial pain processing.

Massimo Costalonga, DMD, PhD, Division of Periodontology, Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, School of Dentistry. Research interest:  Our long-range goal is to learn how the oral and nasal mucosal immune system respond to antigens expressed by the commensal microbiota in comparison to virulent pathogens.  In a murine model of periodontal bone loss we are comparing the phenotype of endogenous antigen-specific T cells using MHC tetramer technology.

Ralph DeLong, DDS, PhD, Department of Restorative Sciences. Research interests: Computer software development to (i) create accurate three-dimensional virtual images of dental patients that can be used for education, research, and clinical practice, (ii) render in three dimensions the surface profile of complex structures such as teeth, and (iii) measure minute changes in surface profile of complex structures caused by biophysical forces.

Gary M. Dunny, PhD, Department of Microbiology.  My laboratory studies the regulation of expression of genetic transfer functions and the regulation of virulence in gram positive bacteria. We are especially interested in regulatory mechanisms involving cell-cell signaling by peptide mating pheromones. We also study several novel intracellular regulatory RNA molecules that control expression of genes involved in conjugative plasmid transfer.

Alex Fok, PhD, Department of Restorative Sciences. His research interests are in the design of mechanical tests for engineering materials, the evaluation and optimization of dental restorations and the statistical analysis of brittle failure.

Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, MD, PhD, Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine. Research interests: brain mechanisms of cognition and movement.

Rajaram Gopalakrishnan, PhD, BDS, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences. Director of Graduate Studies. Research interests: Transcriptional regulation of extracellular matrix proteins involved in bone formation. One specific area of interest is parathyroid hormone regulation of matrix Gla protein, a key factor in regulating mineralization of bone. We are also studying the role of twisted gastrulation, a BMP-binding protein in osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. We are also studying critical developmental factors involved in mandibular growth and patterning.

Sven-Ulrik Gorr, PhD, Department of Diagnostic & Biological Sciences.  Associate Dean for Research, School of Dentistry. Research interests: cell biology and biochemistry--secretory mechanisms in endocrine, exocrine and epithelial cells; innate immunity and antibacterial peptides; Sjögren’s syndrome.

Thorsten Gruenheid, DDS, PhD, Division of Orthodontics, Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences.  His research explores cellular responses to mechanical stimulation during orthodontic tooth movement, the structure-function relationship of muscular systems in the craniofacial area, adaptation of the masticatory system to varying functional demands, and development of architecture and mineralization of mandibular bone.

Shelley Grimes, PhD, Department of Diagnostic & Biological Sciences.  My research interest is in the structure and assembly of the Bacillus subtilis bacteriophage phi29. Recent emphasis has been on determining the molecular mechanism of DNA packaging and the role of a novel multimeric packaging RNA in this process. The lab employs an integrated multi-disiplinary approach including genetic, biochemical, and biophysical techniques, such as cryo-EM and single molecule studies with laser tweezers, to address the mysteries of the structure and assembly of this virus.

Mark C. Herzberg, DDS, PhD, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences. Research interests: Gene regulation in streptococcal biofilms; mucosal epithelial innate, autonomous immunity against invasive pathogens and HIV; structure and function of S100A8/A9 (calprotectin); molecular physiology of platelet-streptococcal interactions in vitro and in vivo.

Paul Jardine, PhD, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences.  Research interests: virus structure and assembly; biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology.

Eric Jensen, PhD, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences.  His research focuses on the factors regulating osteoclast and osteoblast formation.

Kim Carpenter Mansky, PhD, Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences. There are two types of bone cells that are involved in bone remodeling: osteoblasts, cells that form bone, and osteoclasts, the cells that resorb bone. Osteoclasts are also necessary for eruption of teeth. The RANKL signaling pathway is the signaling pathway that leads to osteoclast differentiation. My research is interested in understanding the mechanism by which the RANKL signaling pathway leads to phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase in osteoclasts. Our long term goal is to identify the signaling components of the RANKL pathway necessary for activating p38 MAPK in osteoclasts. We are also using yeast two hybrid to identify proteins expressed specifically in osteoclasts that are phosphorylated by p38 MAP kinase.

Louis M. Mansky, PhD, Institute for Molecular Virology, Departments of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences and Microbiology. Research interests: Cell and molecular biology of HIV and HTLV; HIV drug resistance; HTLV particle assembly and release; evolution of emerging viruses.

Julie Olson, PhD, Department of Diagnostic & Biological Sciences (School of Dentistry) and Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (College of Veterinary Medicine).  Research interests include the function of microglia in the CNS, the role microglia play in the immune response during MS, and the role of the innate immune response in virus infections and how this response may impact the development of an autoimmune response and development of MS.

Karen Ross, PhD, Department of Diagnostic & Biological Sciences.  Her research involves testing the hypothesis that Calprotectin serves as an innate intraepithelial defense against bacterial invasion in vitro and provide evidence for a fundamental role for this protein in resistance to infections. Such knowledge may lead to novel prevention and therapeutic approaches to improve innate defense against pathogens.

Joel D. Rudney, PhD, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences. Research interests: studies of the functional properties and protein composition of saliva, and salivary protein effects on oral health and ecology; molecular methods for identifying, quantifying, and localizing oral microbes; polymicrobial invasion of oral epithelial cells and host response to polymicrobial infections; statistical analysis and research design.

Wook-Jin Seong, DDS, PhD, Division of Prosthodontics, Department of Restorative Sciences, School of Dentistry. Research interests: mechanical properties of jaw bone using various techniques including nano-indentation, bone/implant contact analyses, computer simulation of immediate implant loading and distraction osteogenesis, implant stability tests with ultrasonic vibrating and resonance frequency instruments, animal and clinical study on dental implants and distraction osteogenesis, micromechanical and electrical stimulation on bone healing, and dental materials/prosthodontics tests.

Donald A. Simone, PhD, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences. Research interests: neural mechanisms that contribute to hyperalgesia (enhanced sensitivity to pain) following tissue injury and inflammation; mechanisms by which cannabinoids produce analgesia; neural mechanisms that contribute to cancer pain with emphasis on interactions between tumor and peripheral nerve. Electrophysiological, pharmacological and behavioral approaches are used.

Larry F. Wolff, DDS, PhD, Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences. Research interests: Diagnosis, risk assessment and treatment of periodontal diseases.  Specific activity in specific areas include longitudinal clinical investigations, use of antimicrobial agents in the treatment of periodontal diseases, and anaerobic microbiology assessment of plaque. Not accepting new students.

Wei Zhang, PhD, Department of Diagnostic & Biological Sciences.  Research interests: structural virology and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

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  • Last modified on October 16, 2015