MICROBIOME CORE EXPERTS

Bruce J. Paster, Ph.D.
bpaster@forsyth.org
Director of Forsyth Oral Microbiome Core
Senior Member of Staff
Department of Microbiology
Forsyth Institute
Professor, Department of Oral Medicine, Infection & Immunity
Harvard School of Dental Medicine
The ultimate goal of the Paster lab is to determine the bacterial etiologies of a variety of oral diseases or afflictions, such as rampant caries in children, halitosis, periodontitis, refractory periodontitis, necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis in HIV subjects, and noma, a facial gangrene that primarily affects malnourished children in developing countries. In collaboration with Dr. Floyd Dewhirst, they defined the microbial diversity of the human oral cavity, witch is collectively comprised of about 700 bacterial species. Approxiamtely 30 percent of these species still cannot be grown in culture.

Presently, Dr. Paster's research focuses in three major areas. The first involves the microbiome of adolescents who were perinatally-infected with HIV. An important finding was that although HIV-infected youth have more caries than HIV exposed but uninfected children, their oral microbiomes do not differ from the control groups. The second involves an ongoing study on the progression of periodontal disease. An important finding was that there may be "danger" microbial profiles that may serve as biomarkers to assess the risk of periodontal disease before there are clinical signs. Early detection of most diseases will allow for better treatment. The last area involves a new interest in looking at the impact of circadian rhythm on the oral microbiome. Such studies will help decipher relations between the microbiome, the immune system, and the circadian clock - all important players in human health. These data may provide new treatments regimens that focus on circadian rhythm.
 
Tsute (George) Chen, Ph.D.
tchen@forsyth.org
Director of Forsyth Bioinformatics Core
Associate Investigator, Department of Microbiology
Forsyth Institute
Instructor, Department of Oral Medicine, Infection & Immunity
Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Scientific research today is truly interdisciplinary—computer science, statistics, mathematics and engineering all play an important role in the life sciences. Dr. Chen's work illustrates how far research has evolved and its integration with different disciplines. As Forsyth's leading bioinformatics expert, Chen is responsible for analyzing huge amounts of data and transforming it into biologically meaningful information that other scientists can understand and interpret to gain new biological insights.

Dr. Chen is also focusing on the "multi-omics" aspects of oral microbiology. "Omics" refers to the study of the "entirety" of various types of bio-molecules of an organism using modern high-throughput analytic technology. The bio-molecules that can be measured in this manner include DNA (genomics), RNA (transcriptomics), proteins (proteomics), and metabolites (metabolomics). All of these "omic" studies generate enormous amounts of computer data and require much more time analyzing than generating them. Hence, the field of bioinformatics is playing a pivotal role in contemporary multi-omics research.
 
Chung-Jung Chiu, DDS, PhD.
cchiu@forsyth.org
Assistant Investigator
Forsyth Institute
Dr. Chiu is an epidemiologist. He has participated in several major human research projects and has worked with scientists of diverse backgrounds, including basic scientists, clinicians, and public health researchers. He has been serving as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on several federally funded, multiple disciplinary projects, such as NIH R01, R03, R21, and USDA/ARS, etc. He has extensive knowledge about research study designs and biostatistical methods. He also has comprehensive experience in analyzing and interpreting different types of research data, including prospective cohort studies, case-control studies, clinical trials, animal studies, and in vitro studies.

His current research interest includes the remote effects of oral microbiota, predictive system, and the triad of caries, obesity and eating patterns in children (for more information, please see https://www.forsyth.org/scientists/chung-jung-chiu/)
 

MICROBIOME CORE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Xuesong He, PhD, DDS
Associate Member of Staff
Department of Microbiology
Forsyth Institute
Trained as a dentist and microbiologist, Dr. He is fascinated with the host-associated microbial world and amazed by their significant roles in the hosts' health and disease. He has extensive training and expertise in microbial cultivation, bacterial physiology, genetics and pathogenesis, particularly host associated microbiome, microbial ecology as well as host-microbial interaction. His interests span a broad range of topics focusing on basic and translational research. Some of his research interests include: 1) Using novel culturing methods to isolate and study the physiology and pathogenesis of thus far "uncultivated" bacteria, including Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR) group within oral cavity; 2) Understanding the novel interaction between the newly discovered human oral epiparasitic nanobacteria and their bacterial host; 3) Studying the ecological and social aspects of host-associated microbiome, 4) Investigating the role of host-derived small RNA (sRNA) in modulating host-microbial interaction. Dr. He is the contact PI of multiple active R01 grants from NIH, and has extensive collaboration with researchers from different disciplines and frequently published in peer-reviewed Journals. The national and international impact of his research can be proved by his over 70 well-cited publications in leading scientific journals including PNAS, PLOS Pathogens, ISME J, Cell Reports, Journal of Endodontics, Journal of Dental Research, and Trends in Microbiology.
 
Alpdogan Kantarci, DDS, MSc, PhD
Associate Member of Staff
Forsyth Institute
Through the integration of clinical and laboratory research, Dr. Kantarci focuses on helping people live healthier lives with healthy mouths. The underlying theme in much of his research is inflammation - a connecting factor between oral disease and systemic diseases. Specifically, Kantarci investigates the molecular mechanisms and resolution pathways of inflammation in patients with periodontal disease and how systemic diseases are connected with periodontal disease. Since inflammation is the basis of many diseases in the human body, emphasis in Dr. Kantarci's lab is placed on understanding the role of various conditions that affect the immune and inflammatory responses by the host to microbes. Recent work from the Kantarci laboratory is focused on the link between Alzheimer's disease and periodontal disease.

As a board-certified periodontist and dentist, Kantarci is focused on saliva as a diagnostic milieu for dental-oral diseases as well as systemic conditions. He has been working on the clinical applications of high-throughput analysis in his research, particularly using xMAP Multiplexing (Luminex) for salivary diagnostics.

In parallel, he works on the role of osteoblasts and osteoclasts during orthodontic tooth movement and is applying novel techniques to shorten the treatment time for orthodontic patients. These include the use of minimally invasive surgical approaches and non-invasive technologies such as visible light. The benefits of accelerated tooth movement will be especially important for adults who want less time in braces.
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Page last updated: December 5, 2020 15:08:22