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March 21, 2012

George Hajishengallis, DDS, PhD, Joins Penn Dental as Professor of Microbiology

Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine welcomes George Hajishengallis, DDS, PhD, to its tenured faculty as Professor, Department of Microbiology; his appointment was effective March 1. Dr. Hajishengallis comes to Penn Dental Medicine from the University of Louisville, where he served on the faculty of the School of Dentistry and School of Medicine since 2005, and since 2010, in the positions of Professor and Distinguished Scholar, School of Dentistry, Department of Oral Health and Rehabilitation; School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; and Associate Director, Center for Oral Health and Systemic Disease.

A highly respected researcher, Dr. Hajishengallis is a leader in the area of host-microbe interactions. From the host side, the main focus of his work is on complement and pattern-recognition receptors, and how their respective signaling pathways cross-talk in health and disease. From the microbe side, he has focused on Porphyromonas gingivalis, which he established, in collaboration with other experts, as the first documented case of a keystone pathogen in microbiology. His interests also include the impact of aging on inflammatory diseases. This line of research has led to the identification of an age-regulated endothelial molecule (Del-1) that controls periodontal tissue inflammation, a discovery that will be presented in Nature Immunology (advance online publication, March 25, 2012; DOI name:10.1038/ni.2260 at http://dx.doi.org/). His goal is to dissect basic mechanisms of inflammation and apply targeted therapeutic interventions in periodontitis.

Dr. Hajishengallis holds a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and a DDS from the University of Athens, Greece. In addition to his posts at Louisville, he has also held faculty appointments at UAB, State University of N.Y. at Buffalo, and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Hajishengallis here at Penn Dental Medicine,” says Dr. Denis Kinane, Morton Amsterdam Dean of Penn Dental Medicine. “I had the great pleasure of working with him during my time in Louisville and know firsthand the passion and excellence he brings to his work.”

Learn more on his research >>

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