George Hajishengallis

George Hajishengallis, DDS, PhD

Thomas W. Evans Centennial Professor
Department of Basic & Translational Sciences
210 Schattner Building
Phone: 215-898-2091
Professional Biography

Dr. Hajishengallis earned a D.D.S. from the University of Athens (1989) and a Ph.D. in Microbiology/Immunology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1994). He is currently the Thomas W. Evans Centennial Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine. His field of interest lies at the host-microbe interface, where his work has illuminated novel mechanisms of microbial dysbiosis and inflammation as well as inflammation resolution and tissue regeneration. A current focus of his laboratory involves the immunometabolic regulation of trained myelopoiesis and its effects on systemic health and disease. Dr. Hajishengallis combines basic and translational research leading to innovative approaches to clinical problems, such as exemplified by periodontitis, where his preclinical work has recently led to a successful complement-targeted phase 2a clinical trial in patients with periodontal inflammation. In preclinical models of an aggressive form of periodontal disease associated with leukocyte adhesion deficiency type 1 (LAD-1), he established the IL-23/IL-17 axis as the driver of this condition; this concept has been translated to effective treatment of LAD-1 patients at the NIH. His lab has played a crucial role in the identification of Porphyromonas gingivalis as a ‘keystone pathogen’ and in establishing periodontitis as a polymicrobial dysbiotic disease (‘polymicrobial synergy and dysbiosis’ PSD model) rather than an infection, as traditionally thought. Moreover, his work identified a novel homeostatic factor, DEL-1, with anti-inflammatory, pro-resolving and pro-regenerative properties, in a variety of tissues (e.g., periodontium, joints, and central nervous system). More recently, in a publication in CELL, the Hajishengallis lab and collaborators in Germany have identified maladaptive trained myelopoiesis as the mechanistic basis for the bidirectional association of distinct inflammatory comorbidities, as exemplified by the periodontitis-arthritis axis. Dr. Hajishengallis’ research is mostly supported by NIH/NIDCR from which he has received more than $32 million in research funding. Dr. Hajishengallis has published over 235 papers (with more than 36,000 citations; Google Scholar), including in Cell, Nature Immunology, Science Translational Medicine, J. Clin. Invest., Cell Host Microbe, PNAS, N. Engl. J. Med., Nature Reviews Immunology and Nature Reviews Microbiology. He has delivered numerous invited lectures and served as a session chairperson at various national and international research conferences. He has organized multiple scientific conferences in the U.S. and abroad and serves as an Editorial Board Member in several peer-reviewed journals. He is a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Aegean Conferences and of Forsyth Institute as well as of the NIDCR Board of Scientific Counselors. He has mentored multiple graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are currently pursuing independent careers in academia. Dr. Hajishengallis received the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Biology in 2012 and the NIH/NIDCR MERIT Award in 2016. He was named Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate/Web-of-Science) in 2018, 2020 2021, 2022, and 2023.

  • Highly Cited Researcher: Cross-Field category; Clarivate Analytics (2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
  • Member of the NIDCR Board of Scientific Counselors (2022-present)
  • Scientific Advisory Board Member, Forsyth Institute (2020 – Present)
  • NIH MERIT Award (2016 – Present)
  • Advisory Board Member, Aegean Conferences (2016 – Present)
  • Thomas W. Evans Centennial Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Penn Dental Medicine (2015 – Present)
  • Editor, Current Topics in Innate Immunity II – Springer (2012); Oral Microbiology and Immunology 2nd ed. – ASM Press (2014); Oral Microbiology and Immunology 3rd ed. – ASM Press (2019); Oral Mucosal Immunity and Microbiome – Springer-Nature (2019)
  • AADR/IADR William J. Gies Award in the Biological Research Category (2014)
  • Member of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards Committee (2013 – 2017); Chair of the IADR Subcommittee for the Research in Oral Biology Award (2016 – 2017)
  • IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Biology (2012)
  • Research highlighted in Nature Reviews, Faculty of 1000-Biology, NIH/NIDCR website, Scientific American, AAAS Science Update, AADR’s Strides in Science, WHYY-FM (NPR, Philadelphia), and the popular press
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Immunology (2009 – 2013), Molecular Oral Microbiology (2009-present); Journal of Clinical Periodontology (2017 – Present). Editorial Board Member, Journal of Dental Research (2008-2010 & 2016-present).
  • Distinguished University Scholar, University of Louisville (2010 – 2011)
  • University Scholar, University of Louisville (2005 – 2010)
  • Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellow (2008)
  • Reviewer for NIH Scientific Review Groups (since 2005); Standing Member, NIH/NIDCR Special -Grants Review Committee (DSR) (2014 – Present)
  • Faculty Research Excellence Awards, Louisiana State University School of Dentistry (2004 & 2005)
Selected Publications
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  • Ph.D., Cellular & Molecular Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1994
  • D.D.S., University of Athens, Greece, 1989
Laboratory Site

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