The Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics Department is large and dynamic, with current research foci including cancer biology, materials sciences, microbiology and immunology, neurobiology, and tissue engineering. It has more than 35 postdoctoral scholars and visiting scientists currently participating in the Department. There is a long history of collaborative multidisciplinary research, and many faculty hold joint appointments, especially in the Medical School and College of Engineering. Excellent facilities within the department, school, and university enable broad technical approaches to molecular, cellular, and integrative oral sciences. Recent opportunities for research development grow from the University's new Life Sciences Institute and Initiative.


Bradley Lab
Robert M. Bradley, MSD, PhD

The long-term goal of this laboratory is to understand the sensory input and brainstem neural circuits involved in processing taste information.

Fenno Lab
J. Christopher Fenno, PhD

The Fenno Lab's research focuses on the role of the oral spirochete T. denticola in the development of periodontal diseases.

Geng Lab
Jian-Guo Geng, MD, PhD

The Geng Lab's research focuses on cell adhesion and migration of leukocytes, platelets, endothelial cells and tumor cells for their functional roles in inflammation, thrombosis and cancer growth and metastasis in the past.

Gerstner Lab
Geoffrey Gerstner, DDS, MS, PhD

The Gerstner Lab's research presently has two foci: (1) Comparative masticatory studies. (2) Tooth wear, fecundity and longevity.

H.O.P.E. Lab
Alexandre F. DaSilva, DDS, DMedSc

The H.O.P.E. (Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort) Lab is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort to investigate the brain as a research and therapeutic target for chronic trigeminal pain disorders, including primary headaches (e.g. migraine), TMJD and trigeminal neuropathic pain.

Kaartinen Lab
Vesa M. Kaartinen, PhD

The Kaartinen Lab is interested in underlying molecular reasons that lead to a formation of common craniofacial and cardiac birth defects in human newborn babies.

Kohn Lab
David H. Kohn, MSE, PhD

The Kohn Lab focuses on two aspects of biomineralization. First, to understand how the organizational hierarchy of mineralized tissues results in mechanical competence (or, conversely, increased susceptibility to damage/fracture). Second, to mimic aspects of nature's biomineralization strategies as a design basis for developing well-controlled systems that may be used to study basic questions/hypotheses regarding cell and molecular function.

Kuroda Lab
Kenichi Kuroda, PhD

The Kuroda laboratory studies membrane-active antimicrobial polymers as synthetic mimics of host-defense peptides and antimicrobial coatings to prevent biofilm formation on biomedical materials.

Li Lab
Peng Li, PhD

The molecular and cellular mechanism underlying breathing, and how it goes awry in diseases is largely unknown. By molecular and genetic dissection of the breathing-control circuitry, our laboratory studies the function of neural populations that control breathing rhythms and behaviors (such as sighing), and the pathophysiology of diseases with breathing abnormality.

Liu Lab
Fei Liu, DDS, PhD

Research in the Liu laboratory focuses on understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate physiological and pathological bone metabolism, skeletal and craniofacial bone development and diseases.

Lombaert Lab
Isabelle Lombaert, PhD

The question that is driving the Lombaert Lab's research in the long-term focuses on how to apply stem cell-based therapies to repair damaged tissues.

Ma Lab
Peter X. Ma, MS, PhD

The Ma Lab develops novel materials to support various biomedical applications, with emphasis on regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and drug delivery.

Mishina Lab
Yuji Mishina, PhD

The Mishina laboratory is interested in functions of BMP signaling during bone development/remodeling and craniofacial development.

Mistretta Lab
Charlotte Mistretta, MS, PhD

The Mistretta Lab's research is to understand early development and differentiation of the taste system. Current projects in the laboratory include study of developmental interactions between embryonic neurons in geniculate, petrosal and trigeminal ganglia and their sensory target organs in the tongue - the taste papillae and resident taste buds

Pierchala Lab
Brian Pierchala, PhD

The Pierchala laboratory is interested in understanding the ligand and receptor mechanisms responsible for growth and survival promotion, synaptic elimination and apoptosis, and regeneration of peripheral neurons.

Simmer Hu Lab
James Simmer, PhD
Jan Hu, BDS, PhD

The Simmer Hu laboratory studies tooth development, focusing on the human genetics of developmental anomalies of the dentition and using mouse models to understand how proteins encoded by genes function during normal tooth development and how their mutations lead to failures in such process.