OHS PhD Faculty

Robert Bradley
Neurophysiology of central taste circuits; central integration of taste and salivary functions; functional regeneration of sensory nerves through implanted electrodes.

Lucia Cevidanes
Development of novel open-source software for 3D quantitative analysis and statistical modeling of bone apposition/resorption and positional displacements with growth and/or orthopedic /surgical/pharmacological treatments. Such open-source methodologies have applications for craniofacial soft and hard tissues, joints, and dental assessments.

Daniel Jr. Chiego
Role of nerves in maintenance and repair of mineralized tissues; neural control of salivation.

Brian Clarkson
Effects of non-collagenous dentin and enamel matrix proteins on dentin and enamel (re)mineralizaton; and the regeneration of dentin and enamel using dental pulp stem cells and ameloblast lineage cells.

Nisha D'Silva
Molecular and cellular mechanisms of signaling in normal and malignant keratinocytes.

Alexandre DaSilva
Neuroplasticity and novel therapeutic approaches and mechanisms in chronic trigeminal pain disorders, including TMD.

Stephen Feinberg
Ex vivo development of a human full-thickness oral mucosal tissue that is suitable for intraoral grafting procedures and for in situ transmucosal delivery of recombinant immunomodulatory proteins.

J. Christopher Fenno
Molecular biology of oral spirochete bacteria; interactions between oral bacteria and host tissues.

Margherita Fontana
Caries management in children, including risk assessment, dental sealants, oral biofilms as it relates to caries development and/or prevention (and included in this area, therapies that may affect the biofilm, such as xylitol), secondary caries, caries remineralization, and early caries detection. Her work has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Delta Dental Foundation, and private industry.

Renny Franceschi
Signals regulating differentiation and function of osteoblasts, and gene therapy approaches for bone regeneration.

Jian-Guo Geng
The Geng Laboratory is focused on how to integrate tissue regeneration with host immunity to reject metastatic cancers. Specifically, the lab is focused on how to boost T-cell antitumor responses in vivo for rejection and vaccination of nonviral cancers.

Geoffrey Gerstner
Dr. Gerstner’s research interests include: understanding the proximate (neurophysiological) and ultimate (evolutionary) sources of variation in chewing rate among mammalian species. Methods involve both field- and laboratory-based studies designed to understand how the relative dependence/independence of chewing rate and skull mass has consequences for normal dentoskeletal growth and development and for adaptive capacities of wild mammalian populations. Findings to date suggest that chewing rate may be partially genetically determined, is independent of dentoskeletal size and shape under conditions of relaxed selection pressure, may play a role in dentoskeletal growth and development, and may be a surrogate variable that correlates with the rates of other neural and behavioral processes within and between species. The second research interest deals with studies of chronic trigeminal pain. He is currently working with other investigators on campus using neuroimaging (1H-MRS, fMRI, fcMRI) and psychometric methods to study the neural basis of chronic temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain. To date, results suggest that chronic TMD symptoms may be modulated by or related to changes in central pain processing. This project is NIH funded.

William Giannobile
Gene delivery strategies for oral and periodontal tissue engineering, signal transduction mechanisms during oral wound repair, and clinical trials relevant to oral microfluidic diagnostics.

Carlos González-Cabezas
The Gonzalez laboratory is interested in understanding dental caries and their clinical management. Particular interest in remineralization, fluorides, diagnosis and oral health products in general (e.g., dentifrices, rinses, toothbrushes, etc.) The Gonzalex laborator is part of the Cariology Research Laboratory.

Nan Hatch
My current research activities fall under two primary categories. The first of these is the development development of biologic mediators for control of orthodontic tooth movement and prevention of relapse after orthodontic tooth movement (orthodontic relapse is the tendency for teeth to move back to their original positions upon removal of orthodontic appliances and is an undesirable outcome after correction of a malocclusion through orthodontic treatment). Of greater relevance to the Oral Health Sciences program are my research activities in the areas of bone biology and craniofacial skeletal development. The overall objective of my research is to establish essential molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal craniofacial skeletal development and craniosynostosis.

Jan Hu
Characterization of genes and gene products involved in normal and abnormal tooth development.

Isabelle Lombaert
The Lombaert Lab determines how stem cells participate in the formation of branching organs and how they respond to various external and internal cues in normal, damaged or diseased environments.

Vesa Kaartinen
Molecular reasons behind craniofacial and cardiac birth malformations, such as, cleft palate, cleft lip and cardiac valve and septal anomalies; growth factor signaling in normal development in order to understand reasons that often lead to a failure in these particular developmental processes.

David Kohn
Biomineralization and biomimetics; focus on biomechanics of mineralized tissues and biomaterials to support replacement/ regeneration of mineralized tissue.

Kenichi Kuroda
My research focuses on the design and synthesis of non-toxic antimicrobial polymers by mimicking the properties and functions of natural antimicrobial peptides. This class of polymers is easy to make and inexpensive as compared to peptides and antibiotic drugs, allowing the production of antimicrobial materials on industrial scales.

Fei Liu
Cellular and molecular mechanisms in skeletal, craniofacial development and disease; roles of autophagy in mesenchymal stem/stromal cell and osteoblast functions.

Yu Leo Lei
The Lei laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms regulating cancer cell-immune cell interaction. Cancer cells employ a complex set of machinery to modulate their immunogenicity, which underlies their response to of immunotherapy. In order to better understand these mechanisms, our group employs both high throughput screening methods and CRISPR-Cas9-based lentiviral system to interrogate novel pathways, which bear translational potential in classifying tumors into high immunogenic and low immunogenic groups.

Peter Ma
Bone and periodontal tissue regeneration: (1) stem cells (embryonic and mesenchymal stem cells) and their interactions with biomaterials; (2) spatially and temporally controlled delivery of growth/differentiation factors using nanotechnologies to mediate cell proliferation and differentiation.

Laurie McCauley
Hormonal controls of bone remodeling at the molecular, cell and tissue level and in particular the therapeutic roles of parathyroid hormones in bone, and their pathophysiologic roles in cancer.

Yuji Mishina
Functions of BMP signaling during bone development/remodeling and craniofacial development, using genetically altered mouse lines to conditionally decrease or increase levels of BMP signaling; models are of interest in understanding the pathogenesis of bone mass related diseases, including osteoporosis and sclerosis.

Charlotte Mistretta
Developmental neurobiology of taste organs, oral sensory ganglia and neural circuits; pattern formation in taste papillae.

Jacques E. Nör
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis; regulation of endothelial cell apoptosis; anti-angiogenic therapies to control the progression and metastasis of oral tumors.

Noriaki Ono
The Ono laboratory uses genetically engineered mice to study the fundamental biology of stem and progenitor cells of the bone cell lineage in growth, development and homeostasis.

Brian Pierchala
Mechanisms of action of neuronal growth factors in the development and maintenance of the peripheral and craniofacial nervous systems.

Peter Polverini
Mechanisms of oral carcinogenesis; angiogenesis in oral tumor formation.

Helena Ritchie
Molecular and biochemistry mysteries of the dentin protein phosphoprotein.

James Simmer
Genetic and biochemical mechanisms of tooth development, particularly dental enamel formation.

Russell Taichman
Interactions between bone and hematopoietic cells, bone marrow metastasis, chemokines, growth factors, adhesion molecules, mechanisms of bone metastasis.