Research Intensive Faculty

Antonio (Tony) L. Amelio

Associate Professor

Research:

The Amelio Lab applies an interdisciplinary approach to understand the mechanisms underlying the development of oral, head, and neck cancers. To this end, we are investigating the signaling pathways that drive mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the salivary gland and oral squamous cell carcinoma using a combination of bioinformatics, animal models, and molecular genetic analyses.

Lab:

3510 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg
3605 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

Office (919) 537-3309
Lab (919) 537-3405

Email:

antonio_amelio@unc.edu

Roland R. Arnold

Professor

Research:

Our interests include host-pathogen interactions at mucosal surfaces including the oral cavity and the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Our studies examine both innate and acquired soluble host defense factors that are delivered to mucosal surfaces by exocrine secretions. We are also interested in the strategies of both pathogens and indigenous (normal flora) microbes for evading these host defense factors. As professional phagocytic cells such as the polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocytes employ similar antimicrobial agents to that found in secretions, we are interested in how these function in the cell. In order to understand the importance of these functions, we are interested in patient populations that have selective dysfunctions in discrete components of either exocrine secretions (e.g. IgA deficiency, cystic fibrosis, Sjogrens, ionic cofactors) or in neutrophils (e.g. chronic granulomatous disease, specific granule deficiency, lactoferrin, defensins, myeloperoxidase, adhesins, elastase). We are interested in specific pathogens associated with periodontal diseases, caries, chronic inflammatory diseases, respiratory pathogens including cystic fibrosis, COPD, lung transplants. These pathogens include among others Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia, Tannerella forsythia, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia. We also have expertise in the evaluation of efficacies of antimicrobials to a variety of target microorganisms.

Lab:

3030 First Dental Bldg.

Office:

3043 First Dental Bldg

Telephone:

(919) 537-3165

Email:

roland_arnold@unc.edu

James Beck

W.R. Kenan Distinguished Professor

Research:

Oral epidemiology, periodontal disease, inflammation, oral and systemic disease, periodontal disease classification.

Office:

4501D Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3241

Email:

Email: James_Beck@unc.edu

Kimon Divaris

Professor

Research:

Diverse research portfolio interrogating both proximal and distal determinants of oral health and disease, ranging from genomics of oral health traits and behavioral sciences to health disparities and dental education. Currently, NIH-funded research is supported by grants U01-DE025046 and XO1HG010871 (ZOE 2.0 study, “Genome-wide association study of early childhood caries”).

Lab:

4411B Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Office:

4501C Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3556

Email:

kimon_divaris@unc.edu

Ibrahim Duqum

Associate Professor

Research:

All Ceramic restorations. Digital Dentistry in both restorative and implant dentistry. CAD/CAM in dentistry. Osseointegration and survival and success of dental implants. Edentulism and attachments for complete dentures. Survival and success of dental extracoronal restorations. Dental educational research and application of digital dentistry in dental education.

Office:

337 Brauer Hall

Telephone:

(919) 537-3964

Email:

duqumibr@unc.edu

Eric T. Everett

Professor

Research:

Genetic basis for acquired and congenital defects of the oral/craniofacial/dental complex. Normal variation of oral and craniofacial structures. Literature of birth defects and dysmorphology. Integration of genetics in DDS curriculum.

Office:

Campus Box #7455

Lab:

4417 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Email:

eric_everett@unc.edu

Lynn Fox

Associate Professor

Research:

Craniofacial team functioning, healthcare literacy, speech and language, stuttering

Office:

008 Brauer Hall

Telephone:

(919) 537-3509

Email:

lynn_fox@unc.edu

Sylvia Frazier-Bowers

Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Equity Initiatives

Research:

As a clinician-scientist, it is also my goal to bridge the gap between the clinical profession and scientific advances to ensure that this is the foundation that our future generations of dentists receive. My current efforts also broadly focus on gene discovery and phenotype dissection of dentofacial variation specifically 1) tooth development 2) tooth eruption and 3) tooth agenesis using multiple translational methods.

Office:

271 Brauer Hall

Lab:

4411 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3758

Email:

sylvia_frazier@unc.edu

Laura Jacox

Assistant Professor

Research:

The primary focus of my research program has been on longitudinal clinical studies of speech distortions in jaw surgery patients. The other focus of my lab is on social science research in dentistry, including qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups) and quantitative approaches (survey development) investigating trends in orthodontics. As part of the COVID-19 research response, we are studying antiseptic mouth rinses for their ability to limit salivary viral infectivity. Finally, we are exploring applications of animal-assisted therapy for management of dental anxiety in pediatric dental populations.

Office:

2901 First Dental Bldg.

Lab:

2090 First Dental Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3768

Email:

ljacox@live.unc.edu

Brandon Johnson

Assistant Professor

Research:

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology dosimetry, evaluation of radiology equipment/devices, patient and operator dose, effective dose, image quality, radiology/radiography education.

Office:

5511J Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

Radiology Clinic

Telephone:

(919) 537-3148

Email:

Brandon_johnson@unc.edu

Lorne D. Koroluk

Associate Professor

Research:

Malocclusion, growth and development, teaching, ulcerations; fungal; cancer; facial; dermatologic

Office:

237 Brauer Hall

Telephone:

(919) 537-3784

Email:

lorne_koroluk@unc.edu

Jessica Y. Lee

Demeritt Distinguished Professor

Research:

Health Services Research, Epidemiology, Health Disparities, Healthy Literacy

Office:

231 Brauer Hall

Lab:

4501 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3955

Email:

leej@unc.edu

Pei Feng Lim

Associate Professor

Research:

Pain education, orofacial pain, and widespread pain

Office:

2050 First Dental Bldg.

Lab:

Orofacial Pain Clinic

Telephone:

(919) 537-3939

Email:

peifeng_lim@unc.edu

Julie T. Marchesan

Assistant Professor

Research:

My research interest is on the pathogenesis of periodontal disease with a focus on the host response. This response is greatly influenced by both genetic factors and different microorganisms. Specifically, I have focused on the role of pathogen recognition receptors and sensors (TLR, NLR, IFI16, AIM2) and novel pathobionts (E. saphenum, F. alocis, Synergistetes) in the host response.

Office:

3506 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

3411 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3853

Email:

Julie_Marchesan@unc.edu

Lauren Katz McKay

Assistant Professor

Research:

Skeletal muscle biology, regeneration, stem cell biology, craniofacial disorders, transcriptomics.

Telephone:

(704) 491-7627

Email:

lauren_katz@unc.edu

Patricia (Pat) Miguez

Assistant Professor

Research:

Currently there is a gap of knowledge in that we have not been able to identify a reliable form of preventing dentin and bone loss in various physiological and pathological scenarios. My long-term goals are to unveil novel mechanisms of protecting such mineralized tissues, characterize new effective agents and ultimately bring these agents to clinical practice. My research studies have concentrated in understanding collagen biochemistry and tissue mechanical properties link; promotion of mineralization (re-mineralization) in dentin and bone and, more recently, focused in the role of the proteoglycan biglycan in promotion of craniofacial bone regeneration through modulation of bone morphogenetic protein function. Other biological and translational experiments are in development to promote dentin formation. Another area of interest is on integrative medicine where I seek to understand how natural compounds (phytochemicals) act on cell behavior, extracellular matrix quality and mineralization as well as their effect on oral diseases development such as caries and periodontal disease.

Office:

4606 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

4605-4611 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3324

Email:

patricia_miguez@unc.edu

Antonio J. Moretti

Associate Professor

Research:

Clinical Research

Office:

117 Brauer Hall

Telephone:

(919) 537-3727

Email:

antonio_moretti@unc.edu

Tung T. Nguyen

Professor

Research:

My imaging lab’s focus to is to develop 3D software to evaluate growth and treatment changes. Our research focuses on treatment outcomes and changes with the use of skeletal anchorage, Orthognathic surgery and 3D customized technology.

Office:

272 Brauer Hall

Lab:

2080 First Dental Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3764

Email:

tung_nguyen@unc.edu

Lauren Patton

Professor

Research:

Clinical trials for mucosal disease treatment or prevention, Oral complications of radiation therapy or other systemic disease management, Oral cancer prevention and early diagnosis, Management of patients with systemic disease, Oral and systemic disease interaction, HIV infection and AIDS patient dental care, access to care, oral lesions, Health services research, outcomes research, public health dentistry topics, Systematic reviews to assess evidence base for dental treatment processes

Office:

3140 First Dental Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3582

Email:

lauren_patton@unc.edu

Ceib L. Phillips

Professor, Associate Dean for Graduated/Advanced Education

Research:

Clinical Trial Methodology; Survey Research

Office:

3120 First Dental Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3373

Email:

ceib_phillips@unc.edu

Rocio B. Quinonez

Professor, Associate Dean for Educational Leadership and Innovation

Research:

Dental education; early childhood oral health; prenatal oral health; interface between medicine and dentistry, access to care

Office:

1611H Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3799

Email:

rocio_quinonez@unc.edu

Apoena de Aguiar Ribeiro

Associate Professor

Research:

The focus of my research agenda include: (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).

Office:

3070 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

3611 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3684

Email:

apoena@email.unc.edu

Anne E. Sanders

Associate Professor

Research:

My major research interest relates to the use of social epidemiology theories and principles for informing our understanding of how social inequalities in health are generated and maintained

Office:

4502 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

4605-4611 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3275

Email:

anne_sanders@unc.edu

Rishma Shah

Assistant Professor

Research:

Investigate the etiology of the skeletal muscle tissue defect in craniofacial deformity patients. Understand the innate repair and regenerative process of the skeletal muscle tissue in craniofacial deformity patients. Engineer autologous skeletal muscle tissue for implantation into sites of defect in craniofacial deformity patients.

Office:

276 Brauer Hall.

Lab:

4617 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3767

Email:

rishma_shah@unc.edu

Gary Slade

John W. Stamm Distinguished Professor

Research:

Clinical trials for mucosal disease treatment or prevention, Oral complications of radiation therapy or other systemic disease management, Oral cancer prevention and early diagnosis, Management of patients with systemic disease, Oral and systemic disease interaction, HIV infection and AIDS patient dental care, access to care, oral lesions, Health services research, outcomes research, public health dentistry topics, Systematic reviews to assess evidence base for dental treatment processes

Office:

4501E Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg

Telephone:

(919) 537-3273

Email:

gary_slade@unc.edu

Taiseer Sulaiman

Assistant Professor

Research:

Our area of research focuses on multidisciplinary translational research, with in-vitro investigation of biomaterials that can have the maximum clinical relevance. Developing novel biomaterials in addition to testings’ that can help provide a blue print for further clinical investigations.

Office:

5405H Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg

Lab:

5617D Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-5251

Email:

Taiseer_Sulaiman@unc.edu

Peter Tawil

Assistant Professor, Interim Graduate Program Director

Research:

Endodontic and Endodontic Surgery

Office:

1150 First Dental Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3376

Email:

peter_tawil@unc.edu

Inna Tchivileva

Assistant Professor

Research:

My research objectives are to identify genetic variants influencing pain sensitivity, the likelihood of developing chronic pain disorders, and the response to pain therapy. I am interested in developing and conducting pharmacogenetics clinical trials translating basic research findings into clinical practice. Recently, my efforts have concentrated on studying the effect of catecholamine-O-methyltransferase gene polymorphism on response to beta-adrenergic blocker therapy in patients with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and relationship between TMD and headache.

Office:

5509 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg

Lab:

Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3291

Email:

inna_tchivileva@unc.edu

Shannon Wallet

Associate Dean for Research Discovery and Innovation

Research:

My research interests are focused on mechanisms associated with altered innate immune functions, which lead to dysregulated adaptive immunity. Currently my research program has three major arms integrated through with a central philosophy. Specifically, our laboratory focuses on the contribution of epithelial cell biology and signaling to innate and adaptive immune homeostasis and dysfunction. We study the contribution of what I term ‘epithelial cell innate immune (dys)function’ to three major disease conditions: pancreatic cancer, type 1 diabetes (autoimmunity), and periodontal disease (autoinflammation). While appearing to be a diverse research program, we have found that many of the mechanisms and systems in play are surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) similar allowing for rapid translation of our findings. Importantly, previous investigations into the role of epithelial cells in immunobiology have been hindered by a lack of robust primary cell culture techniques, which our laboratory has been able to overcome using both animal and human tissues. Thus, using our novel and unique tools we are able to evaluate our findings in the human conditions, again making translation of our findings that much more feasible.

Lab:

3405 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3359

Email:

shannon_wallet@unc.edu

Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque

Professor

Research:

Viral oral infections in Immunosuppression and Cancer- VOIICe Viral Oral Infections in Immunesuppression and Cancer (VOIICe)Research Discipline: Microbiology viral pathogenesis/Clinical translational oral medicine.

The laboratory is seeking to understand the critical molecular interactions between the virus and the host that govern the development of oral lesions and malignancies and to translate these findings to the many immune compromised patients seen in practice that are burdened by oral disease.In addition to clinical trials based work designed to translate laboratory findings, there are 3 major areas of study in the laboratory: Mechanisms of Viral Pathogenesis/Reactivation in the Oral cavity and other compartments; HPV in oral disease and cancer; and Clinical TrialsSPNS: UNC HIV Oral Health Demonstration Project

Office:

4506 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

4405 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3492

Email:

Jennifer_Cyriaque@unc.edu

Jane Weintraub

Rozier Douglass Distinguished Professor

Research:

My research involves the disciplines of dental public health, oral epidemiology, and clinical research focused on oral disease prevention and understanding and reducing oral health disparities in children and older adults. I enjoy research that has implications for the future of dental education, dental practice and health policy.

Office:

4508 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

4508 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3240

Email:

Jane_Weintraub@unc.edu

Raymond White

Professor

Research:

Clinical research topics related to orthognathic surgery, third molar management

Office:

149 Brauer Hall

Telephone:

(919) 537-3944

Email:

ray_white@unc.edu

John Timothy Wright

James Bawden Distinguished Professor

Research:

My research interests involve advancing our understanding of community-based treatment approaches including school based oral health care. Recent research involves performing systematic reviews pursuant to developing oral health care guidelines

Office:

4410 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

4110 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3216

Email:

tim_wright@unc.edu

Di Wu

Associate Professor

Research:

Our group develops novel statistical bioinformatics tools and applies them in biomedical research to help understanding the precision medicine for cancer (e.g., breast cancer and lung cancer) subtypes, the disease associated integrative pathways across multiple genomic regulatory levels, and the potential of drug repurposing mechanisms. Our recent focus includes pathway analysis, microbiome data analysis, data integration and EMR. Our application fields include cancer, stem cell, autoimmune disease and oral biology.

Office:

4504 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Lab:

4507 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3277

Email:

dwu@unc.edu

Mitsuo Yamauchi

Professor

Research:

Biology and chemistry of extracellular matrix proteins, Biological significance of collagen post-translational modifications in mineralization, tissue stability, aging and cancer metastasis, Role of small leucine-rich proteoglycans in growth factor function and bone tissue engineering

Office:

4606 Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg

Lab:

4605A-E Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg.

Telephone:

(919) 537-3217

Email:

mitsuo_yamauchi@unc.edu

David Zajac

Professor

Research:

As a clinical speech-language pathologist and speech scientist my research focuses on speech production in general and speech associated with craniofacial anomalies in particular. We are currently conducting an NIDCR-sponsored project investigating the emergence of stop consonants and how speech changes over time in young children with repaired cleft palate, children with otitis media, and typically developing children. We also investigate the effects of dental and occlusal anomalies on speech production.

Office:

007 Brauer Hall

Lab:

016 Brauer Hall

Telephone:

(919) 537-3525

Email:

david_zajac@unc.edu