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Summer Health Professions Program

Suggested Faculty Mentors for the CDM SRG

Faculty name

Title & Contact

Research Interests

W. Scott Argraves, Ph.D.

Cell Biology & Anatomy

Extracellular matrix (ECM) signaling in development and disease. One ECM protein being studied is fibulin-1. Investigators in the Argraves lab have found that mice deficient in fibulin-1 recapitulate many of the phenotypes associated with 22q11 deletion/DiGeorge syndrome (DGS), which occurs with a frequency of 1:4000 human births. The spectrum of malformations observed in fibulin-1 nulls is consistent with fibulin-1 playing a critical role in the migration and survival of cranial neural crest cells. Studies are ongoing to determine the signaling pathways involved in craniofacial morphogenesis that are regulated by fibulin-1.

Lauren E. Ball , Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Diabetic Complications in Periodontal Ligament and Alveolar Bone

Amy Bradshaw, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine

Cellular mechanisms that control extracellular matrix turnover, particularly collagen fibers, in the periodontal ligament in both healthy and diseased tissues

Angela Chi, D.M.D.

Assistant Professor
College of Dental Med/Stomatology

Tobacco-related oral carcinogenesis, cytochrome p450 metabolism

Terry A. Day, M.D.

Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery

Novel therapies int he treatment of head and neck cancer; Molecular markers in the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer; Quality of life and functional outcomes in head and neck Cancer

Courtney J. Haycraft, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine

Cilia function in bone development and homeostasis, cilia function in tooth patterning and morphogenesis, signal transduction pathway regulation

Yan Huang, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Medical Genetics
Department of Medicine

Pathogenesis of periodontal disease in diabetes with a focus on inflammation

Michael J. Kern, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Cell Biology & Anatomy

Defining the molecular/genetic circuitry in bone
 and orofacial development and regeneration

Keith Kirkwood, DDS, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research, Associate Professor
College of Dental Medicine

Periodontal Inflammation and Bone Loss

Robin C. Muise-Helmericks, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Angiogenesis as it pertains to normal vessel development, tumor vascularization and wound healing focusing on the role of the Akt family of kinases

James S. Norris, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Head and neck cancer and prostate cancer gene therapy, small molecule inhibitors of sphingolipid metabolism

Besim Ogretmen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Roles and mechanisms of action of sphingolipid metabolism and signaling in the regulation of human head and neck cancer pathogenesis and therapy

Visu Palanisamy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Craniofacial Biology

Regulation of mRNA stability mechanisms in oral cancer

Sakamuri V. Reddy, Ph.D.


Our objectives are to understand normal and pathologic bone remodeling with a focus on osteoclast and osteoblast cell development/function in the bone micrenvironment. First, we are interested in studying pathobiology and development of novel therapeutic agents against bone diseases such as Paget's disease of bone, osteopetrosis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and bone loss under microgravity conditions in space. Second, to unravel the molecular mechanisms and prevention of tumor osteolysis associated with cancer types such as oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, osteosarcoma and giant cell tumor of bone (osteoclastoma)

Susan G. Reed, DDS, MPH, DrPH

Associate Professor

Vitamin D and oral diseases, oral cancer, epidemiology of oral diseases

Steven A. Rosenzweig, Ph.D.

Department of Pharmacology


Michael Schmidt, Ph.D.

Microbiology & Immunology

Bacterial pahtogenesis, controlling acquisition of hospital infections, indigenous microflora and their role in chronic diseases

Natalie A. Sutkowski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Microbiology & Immunology

Viral-associated head and neck cancers

Dennis Watson, Ph.D.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Molecular genetics and regulation of cancer

Caroline Westwater, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Craniofacial Biology

Candida pathogenesis; Fungal quorum sensing; Fungal oxidative stress resistance; Plant-derived antimicrobials; Indigenous microflora and their role in chronic diseases

Hai Yao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering

Cartilage mechanics and mechanobiology, Functional tissure engineering, Molecular imaging

M. Rita Young, Ph.D.

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Mechanisms by which tumors suppress anti-tumor immune defenses and developing approaches to overcome this tumor-induced immune dysfunction


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