Apoena De Aguiar Ribeiro , DDS, MS, PhD,

Research Associate Professor


  • PhD, Science (Microbiology), Rio de Janeiro Federal University, 2006
  • MS, Pediatric Dentistry, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, 2000
  • Certificate, Pediatric Dentistry, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, 1997
  • DDS, Fluminense Federal University, 1995


Apoena De Aguiar Ribeiro is a Pediatric Dentist and Microbiologist. She was born in Brazil. Among her 20 years of teaching, Ribeiro most recently served as a tenured associate professor in the Fluminense Federal University, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Cariology for 12 years, with a joint appointment at the Department of Microbiology for 5 years, in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.

Prior to that role, she was an associate professor in the Grande Rio University Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Cariology for 8 years. During this time, she has also maintained a part-time role in a solo dental practice for 22 years, devoted to provide oral health to infants, children, adolescents and children with special needs. She is the author of a full book of Pediatric Dentistry (Pediatric Dentistry – A contemporary approach, GEN Editor, Brazil) and has published more than 35 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Ribeiro had successfully obtained 5 grants as a Principal Investigator in Brazil.

In August 2018, Dr. Ribeiro began her appointment as an associate professor in the Division of Diagnostic Sciences at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. In her role at the Adams School of Dentistry, she provides didactic teaching to pre-doctoral students and graduate students, committee service and research, including mentoring students in research projects. Her research interests include translational science, with focus on the oral microbiome communities and their metabolic profiles as determinants in oral and systemic health and dysbiosis, mainly on dental caries in children and adolescents.

Research Summary

The focus of my research agenda includes:

  1. The biomolecular evaluation of the oral microbiome and its metabolome associated to caries and other oral diseases
  2. Clinical caries diagnosis, detection, prevention and treatment
  3. Oral health promotion in children with systemic diseases
  4. The investigation of virulence factors associated to infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Availability to Mentor

Undergraduate, graduate student, postdoc, junior faculty member