Associate Professor, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, College of Medicine Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine Research Interests: Role of intestinal epithelial cells in stressor-induced exacerbation of infectious colitis.
Associate Professor, Division of Biosciences Research Interests: Molecular biology of tooth root development and mineralization, with interests including genes, mechanisms, diseases, and novel regeneration strategies.
Professor, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine Research Interests: Determining the degree to which the bi-directional communication between the brain and the immune system is affected by age, stress, and traumatic CNS injury. In addition, to delineate the mechanism by which inflammatory cytokine pathways cause long-lasting complications.
Dr. Kaspar's research interests center on the microbial interactions that occur within the human oral cavity. Specifically, his lab explores physical contact-dependent interactions between early colonizers of supragingival biofilm communities and pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans. Additionally, he studies the biogeography or spatial arrangement of bacteria within oral biofilms, and its role in cooperative/antagonistic interactions between bacterial species. Finally, he studies Gram-positive bacterial communication in the form of peptide or 'pheromone' signaling through detailing specific pathway(s) in oral streptococci.
Inflammation following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a dynamic response of both the central and peripheral nervous systems, which is influenced by age, sex, injury location and severity. Because inflammation occurs after all brain injuries, I considers it an integral component of recovery.
Professor, Division of Periodontology Research Interests: Peri-implant wound healing and treatment outcomes; specifically focusing on soft tissue healing, the formation of soft tissue sealing as well as host response against dental devices.
Chair, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Radiology Professor, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Radiology Research Interests: Chemoprevention of oral cancer by natural products, using a continuum of experimental designs that range from cell and animal models to human clinical trials to provide mechanistic insights and determine chemopreventive efficacy, with a focus on controlled-release, local delivery methods.
My laboratory uses rodent preclinical models of spinal cord injury (SCI) to examine the endogenous reparative response within the spinal cord, and systemic and metabolic problems that occur as a result of the injury. Specifically, we study the response of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (NG2+ cells) to SCI, including intracellular and extracellular factors that influence their behavior and their ability to form new remyelinating oligodendrocytes. Our systemic studies revealed marked and chronic liver pathology occurs after SCI that is consistent with the development of fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome, a feature that is common in the SCI population and likely contributes to their reduced lifespan. We are examining mechanisms that drive chronic post-injury liver inflammation and testing translatable approaches to reduce liver pathology and improve overall liver and metabolic health after SCI.
My research activity has focused on understanding the relationship between surface-mechanical properties of biomaterials and host tissue responses and seeking for novel therapeutic strategies that effectively control the mechanism of tissue response. Clinical research involves utilizing intra-oral scanner measurements to quantify oral health outcomes and quantitatively monitor oral disease.
Research in our laboratory is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of oral carcinogenesis and oral cancer chemoprevention. We are developing preclinical models that will enable us to fully explore the underlying mechanisms of oral cancer progression and metastasis, as well as the effects of immunomodulatory compounds on oral cancer outcomes. Our long term goal is to identify discrete significant mediators of oral carcinogenesis that can be exploited in preventive and/or therapeutic strategies to reduce the risk of oral cancer development.
I am interested in how peptidergic neurons communicate with dental pulp stem cells during early postnatal development to create a sensory tooth. I'm similarly interested in how an injury affects this communication in an adult tooth to help maintain and repair the tooth organ. Most recently, I've begun to research how teeth age and if this differs between males and females.
Professor, Department of Neuroscience Research Interests: Neuroimmunology of spinal cord injury, immunological influences on neuronal degeneration and regeneration, neuroendocrine influences (e.g., stress/HPA axis activation) on inflammatory mediated injury/repair of the CNS.
Professor, Division of Biosciences Research Interests: Exploring differences in muscle properties between species. Focusing on the roles of sarcomeric protein isoforms in regulating contractile properties of muscle. Specific areas of interest include craniofacial (extraocular, jaw-closing and laryngeal) muscles, limb skeletal muscles and cardiac muscle, with an emphasis on comparative muscle physiology and biochemistry.
Development of new polymers and monomers to improve dental materials and biomaterials. Recent work has focused on improving traditional dental materials specifically glass-ionomer cements and maxillofacial prosthetics. Development of nanostructured block copolymer surfaces to control protein and cellular interactions.
Interim Director, Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research Professor, Division of Biosciences Research Interests: Neuroendocrine regulation of inflammation, psychoneuroimmunology, neuroimmunology, stress biology, host repair of tissue damage, immunity to viral and bacterial challenges.
Our laboratory studies how ‘nanoscale’ viruses impact Earth’s ecosystems. While largely oceans-focused, our lab has pioneered many methods and informatics advances needed to “see” viruses in natural environments. This has led to global maps of the ‘virosphere’ and illuminating ‘viral dark matter’, numerous approaches to link and explore virus-host interactions, and realizations that viruses not only kill their microbial hosts, but also manipulate them in myriad subtler ways. This ‘oceans toolkit’ has revolutionized the study of viruses in nature and is now being applied throughout the global oceans, climate change soils, and to study myriad diseases in humans.
Professor, Division of Biosciences Research Interests: Investigating how the central nervous system processes sensory signals arising from the mouth. The oral cavity is richly innervated and supplies the organism with information critical to regulating eating and drinking. Our focus is the sense of taste, but we also study oral tactile and thermal sensations because all these modalities interact to give rise to the complex experience of flavor.
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine Research Interests: Examining the molecular mechanisms of innate immune responses to bacterial pathogens and IgG-immune complexes, particularly in the context of monoclonal antibody therapy for cancer.
This program provides exceptional training and significant financial support at a variety of career levels to those dedicated to becoming the next generation of academicians and clinician scientists. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-awarded training grant (T32DE 032994) entitled “Multidisciplinary Academic Research Training in Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Sciences (MARTDOCS)” makes all of this possible. The MARTDOCS program T32 is funded through the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)/NIH and the College of Dentistry.
Trainees will have the opportunity to participate in dynamic research in a variety of areas, including:
Microbial Pathogenesis / Inflammation
Cancer Biology/Wound Healing
Dental Materials / Biomedical Engineering
We have three participating graduate programs (Oral Biology PhD, Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences) and a faculty mentor network of 29 participants who hold appointments throughout. See our full MARTDOCS faculty mentor list for more exciting research opportunities!
For more information please contact the T-32 Directors:
Dr. John Sheridan
Dr. Susan Mallery
The Ohio State University
College of Dentistry
All trainees have access to a wide array of University and College resources. We have a faculty network of 29 mentors who hold appointments in the College of Dentistry and the College of Medicine. Our faculty mentors have a rich training history and are leaders in their fields and within the University.
All trainees are provided a stipend, a travel allowance to attend a national scientific meeting each year, full tuition and general fees (individual fees not covered), a health insurance subsidy of 100%, and a set amount of funds available to purchase research related equipment, items, and supplies.
We have a network of current and former trainees of over 50 individuals. All of our trainees, current and former, are available to help you succeed! If you have questions about future career choices or possible paths, we have a sizable pool of people to contact who have been where you are and have forged a path to a successful career in academia, research (in a variety of settings –academic, clinical, government, industry), research administration, and some that have chosen a combination of private practice and one of the aforementioned careers.
Our program has a designated staff member who is available to you at any time throughout the work day to help you navigate the inevitable bumps along the way.