Dr. Javed talking while sitting at the head of a table surrounded by various faculty members.

Five Core Themes

The strength of our research pillar centers on our five core themes. These are areas of internationally recognized scientific expertise at UAB, within the clinical realm of dentistry and oral health.


Craniofacial Development and Genetics

This research theme brings together basic scientists, geneticists, epidemiologists, molecular and developmental biologists to understand underlying causes of normal and abnormal skeletal and craniofacial development to ultimately devise inter- and multi-disciplinary strategies for diagnosis, treatment, and development of novel therapeutics for craniofacial and dental disorders.

Biomaterial Science and Biomimetic

Research in this thematic area combines materials engineering, stem cell/ developmental biology, regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering to generate novel implants, and medical devices for dental applications. The BioHorizons research clinic consist of eight dental operatories and surgical suite with state of the art imaging capacity for evaluation and clinical trials of new materials.

Oral Microbiology, Infection, and Host Response

Includes study of oral infectious diseases, microbiome, inflammation, immunosenescence, and connection between oral and overall health. The intent of the Dental Microbiome program is to study the impact of oral microbiome on disease outcomes in the oral cavity and in other parts of the body including cardiovascular, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.

Oral Cancer and Bone Marrow Microenvironment

According to the CDC, more than 30,000 new cases of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx are diagnosed each year and more than 8,000 deaths are caused by oral cancer. This multi-disciplinary group studies the cellular basis of oral, head and neck cancers to identify new prevention and treatment strategies. Current research focuses on the development of small molecule therapies for the odontogenic tumors, and squamous cell carcinoma. Research in this theme is also focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms that regulate how bone marrow functions in both bone health and disease, especially how bone marrow microenvironment regulate dissemination and homing of cancer stem cells.

Clinical Outcomes and Implementation Science

Theme focuses on National Dental Practice-Based Research Network activities, which include clinical effectiveness, clinical trials, and public health issues. A unique union of practicing dentists and academic scientists work together to improve the nation’s oral health by building the knowledge base for clinical decision-making and moving the latest evidence into routine care. Practicing dentists suggest problems and provide data and observations; UAB researchers investigate solutions and communicate these back to the practitioners.