Microbes are the smallest inhabitants of our planet. They include bacteria and viruses that replicate in all plants and animals of land, air, and sea. Most are harmless, many are essential and some are life threatening.
Research in the Microbiology Department at PDM focuses on how important microbial pathogens cause infection and disease in humans and innovative strategies that can lead to treatments and cures. The areas of investigation include developing viral vaccines and drugs against different herpes and poxviruses that infect the oral cavity, skin, major organs and those that may pose a bioterror threat. Another major area of investigation includes periodontal disease with an emphasis on elucidating the oral immune response and translational strategies for treatment. In addition, ongoing studies continue to disclose, amongst the vast and varied population of oral bacteria, those that contribute to periodontal disease and cancer.

Robert Ricciardi, MA, PhD

Chair and Professor Department of Microbiology

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Altering Bone Marrow Can ‘Train’ Innate Immune System for Future Challenges

George Hajishengallis of the School of Dental Medicine and an international team of colleagues have found that “training” the immune system causes changes in the precursors of immune cells in the bone marrow. These changes could facilitate a more robust response to future infections or even enable the immune system to regenerate faster after chemotherapy.


Bone Marrow Protein May Be Target for Improving Stem Cell Transplants

Bone marrow contains hematopoetic stem cells, the precursors to every blood cell type. These cells spring into action following bone marrow transplants, bone marrow injury and during systemic infection, creating new blood cells, including immune cells, in a process known as hematopoiesis.


Upcoming Events


May, 2019
[AAPD] American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Alumni Reception

Raised Bar
One West Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL


May, 2019
[The Dean's Speaker Series] Pancreatic Cancer and Gut Microbiome: From Bench to Bedside

William Cheung Auditorium
Penn Dental Medicine
240 S. 40th Street


May, 2019
SAAHP Health Professions Fair

Peabody Hotel, Tennessee Exhibit Hall
118 S 2nd St
Memphis, TN 38103


May, 2019
[Levy Research Seminar Series] Dr. Dominique Michaud, Tufts University

338 Levy Bldg

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