My research program focuses on delineating the complex interactions between host immune response, oral bacteria and dental biomaterials using human and murine models of oral inflammatory disease phenotypes. Our lab conducts research across the entire spectrum of translational research from basic discovery to human clinical trials and public health implementation. We are currently focusing on the study of the etiology of peri-implant inflammation, which is an inflammatory disease that leads to destruction of jawbone and implant failures. The basis of these investigations is a human-centered model of clinical immunology, which in combination with knock-out animal models, focuses on the effects that implant biomaterial degradation has on immune activation, non-resolving inflammation and cell death.
Currently, we are investigating caspase activation and downstream effects in immune cells sensitized by dental implant degradation products in an effort to understand why anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents that successfully resolve inflammation around teeth fail to resolve inflammatory lesions around dental implants.
Relevant Diseases: Peri-implantitis, Periodontitis, Inflammation
Research Techniques: Microbiome analyses, bioinformatics, tissue culture