Research/Areas of Interest:

I am investigating the direct and indirect contributions of Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced inflammation to the development and progression of periodontal disease, atherosclerosis, pancreatic cancer, and oral cancers. Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is an important mediator of the pro-inflammatory response to pathogens.  I am interested in the role of IL-1 signaling on oral inflammatory bone loss and atherosclerotic plaque progression in response to the oral pathogen, P. gingivalis. Specifically, the divergent roles of IL-1alpha and IL-1beta in local vs. systemic inflammation will be defined. I am also investigating the genome-wide gene expression changes in aorta of mice subjected to three separate inducers of atherosclerosis: Porphyromonas gingivalisChlamydophila pneumoniae, and high-fat diet. Additionally, I am  also interested in the effects of the microbiome on the disease processes that the lab studies.


BS, Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
PhD, Biology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN