Anna Dongari-Bagtzoglou, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.Professor, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, School of Dental Medicine
Dr Dongari-Bagtzoglou is a clinician scientist with more than 85 publications in the field of the pathogenesis of oral infections. Her laboratory has had uninterrupted RO1 level funding for twenty five years. She has mentored clinical and research track faculty, served as the major advisor or co-advisor of Ph.D. students and mentored several postdocs and numerous other graduate and predoctoral students. She joined the University in 2002 and previously held positions as Chair of Periodontology and Head of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences. She currently leads the Office of Faculty Affairs in the School of Dental Medicine.
|Ph.D.||University of Texas||Microbiology|
|D.D.S.||Columbia University||Advanced Standing Program|
|Residency||University of Texas Health Sciences Center||Periodontics|
|Name of Award/Honor||Awarding Organization|
|Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology||American Society for Microbiology|
|Member, Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering|
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: Oral inflammation
Basic Science Research Interests: Microbial Pathogenesis
Not accepting lab rotation students at this time