Dr. Flavia Teles Joins Penn Dental Medicine’s Department of Microbiology


Flavia Teles, DDS, MS, DMSc

Philadelphia — Adding to the strength and depth of its research faculty, Penn Dental Medicine welcomes Dr. Flavia Teles as Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology. Her appointment was effective August 15.

“Dr. Teles brings a strong portfolio of research and scholarship to the School and her work in oral microbiology will support study across disciplines,” says Morton Amsterdam Dean Denis Kinane. “We are pleased to have her here at Penn Dental.”

Dr. Teles comes to Penn Dental Medicine from the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Dentistry, where since 2014, she served as Research Associate Professor in the Department of Periodontology, and during that same period, she served as Associate Research Investigator in the Department of Applied Oral Sciences within the Center for Periodontology at The Forsyth Institute, where she had been part of the staff since 2009. Also since 2009, she was an instructor in the Department of Oral Medicine, Infection, and Immunity at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), where she was the director of the predoctoral oral microbiology and immunology course. Dr. Teles has also held faculty posts at Mount Ida College, Newton, Mass., and Estácio de Sá University School of Dentistry and Pontificia Universidade Catolica Dental Institute (PUC), both in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Along with a NIH/NIDCR-supported T32 fellowship (2006-2009) from The Forsyth Institute, Dr. Teles earned her DMSc (2007) from Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She holds an MS (2004) from State University of Rio de Janeiro, a certificate in periodontology from the Pontifical Catholic University, and a DDS (1997) from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Dr. Flavia Teles’ career has been dedicated to clinical and translational research. She has a strong record of funding by NIDCR and industry and has consistently published her results and presented her findings in the U.S. and abroad. She is a reviewer for several prominent journals and an editorial member of the Journal of Dental Research. She also has a solid record of mentorship and many of her past mentees received prestigious awards and were selected for residency programs and faculty positions. Dr. Teles also has been serving the IADR and AADR in different capacities, including as the 2015 president of the North Carolina Chapter of the AADR.

Dr. Teles’ research interests focus on building a better understanding of how microorganisms contribute to the pathogenesis of periodontal diseases and the effects of periodontal treatments on the local microbiome. She is particularly interested in the uncultivated and unrecognized segment of the oral microbiome, which is the focus of her current R01, and how the study of these bacterial species combining cultivation, bioinformatics and “omics” technologies may lead to new compounds and metabolic pathways that could support better strategies for prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases.

Her research also explores the association between the oral microbiome and carcinogenesis. Funded by the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund (FARF), she has investigated how the oral microbiome of children with Fanconi Anemia — a rare genetic disorder that leads to increased oral cancer predisposition — along with oral inflammatory and metabolic mediators can influence cancer susceptibiity. She anticipates that the study of oral carcinogenesis in FA may also provide key insights into mechanisms of oral cancer in the general population. Dr. Teles was recognized for her research as a 2017 recipient of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Women in Science Award for Distinguished Research.

Dr. Teles’ husband, Dr. Ricardo Teles, has also joined the Penn Dental Medicine faculty at Professor and Chairman of the Department of Periodontics.