Scope of Research

The Oral Microbiome Research Laboratory explores the role of the oral microbiome and its interaction with the host in health and disease. These efforts help to improve understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of diseases—including dental caries, periodontitis, oral candidiasis and oral cancer—and to aid researchers in the development of strategies for treatment and prevention. Research efforts at the lab include

  • using nucleic acid sequencing of clinical samples to decipher changes in the composition and function of the oral microbiome.
  • understanding fungal pathogenesis to develop novel treatment strategies for oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC), which is an oral disease caused by Candida albicans in individuals with various immunodeficiencies, including AIDS.
  • developing in vitro models of the oral microbiome that replicate normobiosis and dysbiosis in high throughput format, the goal of which is to screen potential microbiome modulators such as prebiotics and probiotics.

Located on the fourth floor of the Kornberg School of Dentistry, the 725-square-foot Oral Microbiome Research Laboratory is equipped for 

  • cultivation, processing and storage of bacteria, fungi, biofilms, microbiomes and cell lines;
  • nucleic acids and proteins extraction, quantification and fragment analysis;
  • conventional and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR);
  • library preparation for sequencing;
  • chemiluminescence and fluorescence assays;
  • fluorescent imaging;
  • immunoblotting;
  • carrying out pre- and post-processing of murine models; and
  • processing human oral samples.