Noel K. Childers, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D. Mucosal immunology as it relates to the immunobiology of dental caries; design and characterization of optimal oral immunization strategy with liposomal antigens of Streptococcus mutans that will induce immune responses and protection against dental caries in humans.
Kohtaro Fujihashi, DDS, PhD. Mucosal immunology and cytokines in dental diseases. Induction and regulation of IgA responses and tolerance.
Jannet Katz, DDS, PhD. Periodontal disease, Porphyromas gingivalis, hemagglutinins and proteases, immune response, cytokines, toll-like receptors.
Hui Wu, Ph.D. Bacterial biofilm development is an important aspect of dental diseases and other persistent and chronic infections. We are interested in the molecular mechanism governing bacterial biofilm formation. We have identified and characterized a serine-rich glycoprotein Fap 1 using Streptococcus parasanguis as a model organism. Fap 1 is required for biofilm formation. Fap 1-like proteins are not only highly conserved throughout oral streptococci but are also found in genomes of many pathogenic Gram- positive bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus agalactiae, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus. Our laboratory employs genetic, molecular biological, biochemical, microscopic as well as animal infectious strategies to dissect the biogenesis pathway for this serine-rich adhesion and to elucidate its function in bacterial and host interactions.