Joel D. Rudney, PhD, MS, MA

Assistant Dean for Research
Professor, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences

Joel D. Rudney

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-7199

Fax 612-626-2651

Office Address:
17-252 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

PhD, University of Colorado (Anthropology), 1981

MS, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry (Oral Biology), 1985; MA, University of Colorado (Anthropology), 1975

BA, University of Cincinnati (Anthropology), 1974

Certificate, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry (Cariology), 1985


Dr. Rudney is a Professor in the Division of Basic Science of the Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research since 1985, and he is an author on over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Rudney teaches in the undergraduate program in Dentistry and the graduate program in Oral Biology. He has served as a research mentor or thesis advisor to over 50 dental students and graduate students. Dr. Rudney has been a member of the School of Dentistry Admissions Committee for over 10 years, and became the director of the School of Dentistry Summer Research Program in 2005. He has served as a member of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board since 2009.

Awards & Recognition

  • Century Club Professor of the Year for 2007, School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota


Research Summary/Interests

I have been an NIH funded investigator for almost 30 years now (with only a few interruptions). Although I have worked in several areas of oral microbiology, my various projects have shared a common focus on the interactions of oral bacteria with various types of oral surfaces, including saliva-coated hydroxyapatite, supragingival tooth surfaces, buccal mucosa and dental materials. My initial area of interest was the interactions of salivary antimicrobial proteins with oral bacteria, and I spent the first 15 years of my career on that field. During that course of time, I became convinced that what would now be called a "systems biology" approach was needed to understand the complex relationships between saliva proteins and supragingival plaque. That ultimately led to a series of studies in which we were able to classify individuals in terms of the antimicrobial functions of their saliva, and relate those differences to differences in plaque composition and salivary protein profiles. During the latter part of that period, I became fascinated by the ability of some periodontal pathogens to invade oral epithelial cells, and wondered if this property would allow them to establish protected intracellular reservoirs for themselves in extracrevicular mucosa. Subsequent studies established that buccal epithelial cells harbored a complex polymicrobial flora that was extremely resistant to topical chlorhexidine and systemic antibiotics. Although periodontal pathogens were part of those intracellular communities, they actually were dominated by streptococci. This led me to investigate collaborative interactions between commensal and pathogenic species and host cells. We were able to establish that non-invasive commensal species could "piggy back" on invasive species to enter epithelial cells. Furthermore, the presence of commensal species greatly modulated the inflammatory response invoked by the invasive species. Those findings have convinced me of the importance of looking at the actions of the oral flora as a community, even though that approach presents many challenges. One way in which I have begun to address those challenge is by exploring the emerging field of bacterial metaproteomics, in collaboration with Dr. Tim Griffin. Our first paper on that topic appeared in 2010. To our knowledge it was the first attempt to investigate the oral microbial metaproteome. Dr. Griffin's lab has continued to advance their methods for purifying and separating proteins. Moreover, in collaboration with Dr. Pratik Jagtap, we developed a new workflow, which greatly enhances out ability to correctly identify protein products specifically made by oral microbes. This led to our second salivary metaproteome paper in 2012. During that time, I also have been a co-PI (with Dr. Robert Jones and Dr. Alex Fok) on an NIDCR grant to investigate the effect of oral biofilms on composite resin restorations. My primary contribution has been to develop a validated oral microcosm biofilm reactor system, which we use to model biofilm effects on teeth restored with various materials. Results to date indicate that the adhesive interface between the tooth and restoration appears to be vulnerable to degradation by microcosm biofilms, but only when the biofilms are sucrose-pulsed.


Selected from over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals

  • Li Y, Carrera C, Chen R, Li J, Lenton P, Rudney JD, Jones RS, Aparicio C, Fok A (2014). Degradation in the dentin-composite interface subjected to multi-species biofilm challenges. Acta biomaterialia 10(1):375-383.
  • Rudney JD, Chen R, Lenton P, Li J, Li Y, Jones RS, Reilly C, Fok AS, Aparicio C (2012). A reproducible oral microcosm biofilm model for testing dental materials. Journal of applied microbiology 113(6):1540-1553.
  • Jagtap P, McGowan T, Bandhakavi S, Tu ZJ, Seymour S, Griffin TJ, Rudney JD (2012). Deep metaproteomic analysis of human salivary supernatant. Proteomics 12(7):992-1001.
  • Chen R, Rudney J, Aparicio C, Fok A, Jones RS (2012). Quantifying dental biofilm growth using cross-polarization optical coherence tomography. Letters in applied microbiology 54(6):537-542.
  • Zhang G, Rudney JD (2011). Streptococcus cristatus attenuates Fusobacterium nucleatum-induced cytokine expression by influencing pathways converging on nuclear factor-kappaB. Molecular oral microbiology 26(2):150-163.
  • Zhang G, Chen R, Rudney JD (2011). Streptococcus cristatus modulates the Fusobacterium nucleatum-induced epithelial interleukin-8 response through the nuclear factor-kappa B pathway. Journal of periodontal research 46(5):558-567.
  • Rudney JD, Xie H, Rhodus NL, Ondrey FG, Griffin TJ (2010). A metaproteomic analysis of the human salivary microbiota by three-dimensional peptide fractionation and tandem mass spectrometry. Molecular oral microbiology 25(1):38-49.
  • Rudney JD, Staikov RK, Johnson JD (2009). Potential biomarkers of human salivary function: a modified proteomic approach. Archives of oral biology 54(1):91-100.
  • Zhang G, Chen R, Rudney JD (2008). Streptococcus cristatus attenuates Fusobacterium nucleatum-induced interleukin-8 expression in oral epithelial cells. Journal of periodontal research 43(4):408-416.
  • Johnson JD, Chen R, Lenton PA, Zhang G, Hinrichs JE, Rudney JD (2008). Persistence of extracrevicular bacterial reservoirs after treatment of aggressive periodontitis. Journal of periodontology 79(12):2305-2312.
  • Rudney JD, Chen R (2006). The vital status of human buccal epithelial cells and the bacteria associated with them.Archives of oral biology 51(4):291-298.
  • Leung NM, Chen R, Rudney JD (2006). Oral bacteria in plaque and invading buccal cells of young orthodontic patients.American journal of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics : official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists, its constituent societies, and the American Board of Orthodontics 130(6):698 e611-698.
  • Edwards AM, Grossman TJ, Rudney JD (2006). Fusobacterium nucleatum transports noninvasive Streptococcus cristatus into human epithelial cells. Infection and immunity 74(1):654-662.
  • Rudney JD, Chen R, Zhang G (2005). Streptococci dominate the diverse flora within buccal cells. Journal of dental research 84(12):1165-1171.
  • Rudney JD, Chen R, Sedgewick GJ (2005). Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Tannerella forsythensis are components of a polymicrobial intracellular flora within human buccal cells. Journal of dental research 84(1):59-63.
  • Rudney JD, Chen R (2004). Human salivary function in relation to the prevalence of Tannerella forsythensis and other periodontal pathogens in early supragingival biofilm. Archives of oral biology 49(7):523-527.
  • Rudney JD, Pan Y, Chen R (2003). Streptococcal diversity in oral biofilms with respect to salivary function. Archives of oral biology 48(7):475-493.
  • Rudney JD, Chen R, Pan Y (2003). Endpoint quantitative PCR assays for Bacteroides forsythus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. Journal of periodontal research 38(5):465-470.
  • Rudney JD, Staikov RK (2002). Simultaneous measurement of the viability, aggregation, and live and dead adherence of Streptococcus crista, Streptococcus mutans and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in human saliva in relation to indices of caries, dental plaque and periodontal disease. Archives of oral biology 47(5):347-359.
  • Tran SD, Rudney JD, Sparks BS, Hodges JS (2001). Persistent presence of Bacteroides forsythus as a risk factor for attachment loss in a population with low prevalence and severity of adult periodontitis. Journal of periodontology72(1):1-10.
  • Rudney JD, Chen R, Sedgewick GJ (2001). Intracellular Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis in buccal epithelial cells collected from human subjects. Infection and immunity 69(4):2700-2707.
  • Rudney JD, Strait CA (2000). Effects of Streptococcus crista and human saliva on the viability of Fusobacterium nucleatum ATCC 10953. Archives of oral biology 45(8):667-674.
  • Rudney JD (2000). Saliva and dental plaque. Advances in dental research 14:29-39.
  • Tran SD, Rudney JD (1999). Improved multiplex PCR using conserved and species-specific 16S rRNA gene primers for simultaneous detection of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Bacteroides forsythus, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Journal of clinical microbiology 37(11):3504-3508.
  • Rudney JD, Hickey KL, Ji Z (1999). Cumulative correlations of lysozyme, lactoferrin, peroxidase, S-IgA, amylase, and total protein concentrations with adherence of oral viridans streptococci to microplates coated with human saliva.Journal of dental research 78(3):759-768.
  • Tran SD, Rudney JD (1996). Multiplex PCR using conserved and species-specific 16S rRNA gene primers for simultaneous detection of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Journal of clinical microbiology 34(11):2674-2678.
  • Rudney JD, Ji Z, Larson CJ (1996). Saliva protein binding to streptococcal layers placed at different oral sites in 48 persons. Journal of dental research 75(10):1789-1797.
  • Rudney JD, Ji Z, Larson CJ, Liljemark WF, Hickey KL (1995). Saliva protein binding to layers of oral streptococci in vitro and in vivo. Journal of dental research 74(6):1280-1288.
  • Rudney JD (1995). Does variability in salivary protein concentrations influence oral microbial ecology and oral health?Critical reviews in oral biology and medicine : an official publication of the American Association of Oral Biologists6(4):343-367.
  • Rudney JD, Michalowicz BS, Krig MA, Kane PK, Pihlstrom BL (1994). Genetic contributions to saliva protein concentrations in adult human twins. Archives of oral biology 39(6):513-517.
  • Rudney JD, Krig MA, Neuvar EK (1993). Longitudinal study of relations between human salivary antimicrobial proteins and measures of dental plaque accumulation and composition. Archives of oral biology 38(5):377-386.
  • Rudney JD, Krig MA, Neuvar EK, Soberay AH, Iverson L (1991). Antimicrobial proteins in human unstimulated whole saliva in relation to each other, and to measures of health status, dental plaque accumulation and composition. Archives of oral biology 36(7):497-506.
  • Rudney JD (1989). Relationships between human parotid saliva lysozyme lactoferrin, salivary peroxidase and secretory immunoglobulin A in a large sample population. Archives of oral biology 34(7):499-506.
  • Rudney JD, Smith QT (1985). Relationships between levels of lysozyme, lactoferrin, salivary peroxidase, and secretory immunoglobulin A in stimulated parotid saliva. Infection and immunity 49(3):469-475.
  • Rudney JD, Kajander KC, Smith QT (1985). Correlations between human salivary levels of lysozyme, lactoferrin, salivary peroxidase and secretory immunoglobulin A with different stimulatory states and over time. Archives of oral biology30(11-12):765-771.
  • Rudney JD (1983). Dental indicators of growth disturbance in a series of ancient Lower Nubian populations: changes over time. American journal of physical anthropology 60(4):463-470.