Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Dr. Gibson’s research is focused on the regulation of dental enamel formation, by studying the in vivo function of proteins that are secreted by ameloblasts and direct the mineralization of dental enamel. She has cloned and characterized human, murine and bovine amelogenin genes, and has analyzed expression and alternative splicing of amelogenin RNA. Her lab has studied several families with the enamel defect amelogenesis imperfecta in order to determine the mutations within their amelogenin genes that led to this condition. She has generated transgenic mice for studies of expression and function of the amelogenins, including a mouse strain with a null mutation in the amelogenin gene, which has a condition similar to human X-linked amelogenesis imperfecta. A secondary focus is the effect of sodium fluoride on the actin cytoskeleton, and the role of G-proteins in this response. Dr. Gibson retired from her 27-year teaching career at Penn Dental Medicine in December 2013, but continues to be active in research.