Photo of Anna  Dongari-Bagtzoglou, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Anna Dongari-Bagtzoglou, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences
Head, Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences
Chair, Division of Periodontology
Academic Office Location:
Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: 860-679-3170
Website(s):

Skeletal Biology and Regeneration Graduate Program

Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
Ph.D.University of TexasMicrobiology
M.S.UCLAOral Biology
D.D.S.Aristotle UniversityDentistry
D.D.S.Columbia UniversityAdvanced Standing Program

Post-Graduate Training
TrainingInstitutionSpecialty
ResidencyUniversity of Texas Health Sciences CenterPeriodontics
Esthetic periodontics, bone grafting, and implant dentistry
The Dongari-Bagtzoglou laboratory has made significant contributions in the field of microbial pathogenesis and specifically in the pathogenesis of oropharyngeal candidiasis. The first in vitro models of fungal-oral epithelial cell interactions were developed in this laboratory. Epithelial inflammatory responses to the fungal opportunistic pathogen C. albicans were characterized and mechanistically dissected using these models. More recently, this laboratory characterized C. albicans mucosal biofilms using complex organotypic and animal models and discovered the main fungal transcriptional pathway and downstream genes that regulate biofilm growth on mucosal surfaces. The lab also developed appropriate assays and systematically dissected mechanisms of biofilm resistance to innate immune cells. This lab, independently as well as in collaborative work, discovered two molecular mechanisms of fungal invasion into the oral mucosa. The most recent discovery of this laboratory is that streptococci participate in mucosal fungal biofilms and the demonstration that the ubiquitous oral commensal Streptococcus oralis forms hypervirulent oral biofilms with C. albicans that promote systemic fungal dissemination. The future broader interests of this laboratory are in deciphering how organisms colonizing the same oral ecological niches modulate the capacity of each other to interact with the host and aggravate oral infections. Having developed novel in vitro and in vivo oral and esophageal mucosal mixed infection models, we are now interested in exploring virulence-promoting interactions of C. albicans with oral bacteria in these sites, defining the mechanisms of bacterial-fungal interactions and characterizing the host response to mixed infection that contributes to pathogenic synergy.

Clinical Research Interests:
Periodontal inflammation

Basic Science Research Interests:
Microbial Pathogenesis


Not accepting lab rotation students at this time

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