Anthony Lawrence

Mentor: Dr. Dr. Ann Progulske-Fox
College of Dentistry
"As a pre-dental student I began shadowing in the dental clinics at UFHealth. I observed a wide variety of dental procedures and numerous cases of periodontal disease in the oral cavity. I was intrigued by the progression of the disease and its prevention and began questioning its causes. The more I learned, the stronger my desire to get more involved in the dental field became. I began contacting UF laboratories that conducted research related to the oral cavity. Dr. Progulske-Fox contacted me with an opportunity to learn and begin research with guidance from her and, a PhD student at the time, Dr. Ryan Chastain-Gross. I’ve already learned more than I ever could’ve hoped to and this experience has been, and will continue to be, one of the most rewarding of my undergraduate career."


Human Nutrition



Research Interests

  • Oral Pathogens
  • Microbiology
  • Cardiovascular Disease

Academic Awards

  • Dean's List-Multiple Semesters
  • Florida Academic Scholars
  • UF University Scholars Program 2015-2016


  • Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society
  • UF FSHN Club


  • Shands Volunteer-Dental Clinics
  • TOPSoccer
  • Balance180

Hobbies and Interests

  • Basketball
  • Running
  • Music
  • Family and Friends

Research Description

The Function of pg0717 and Its Constituent Domains in the Induction of Autophagy
Chronic periodontitis is a disease that affects approximately 47% of American adults. Porphyromonas gingivalis is a gram-negative, asaccharolytic, anaerobic, oral bacterium strongly associated with chronic periodontitis. A virulent strain of P. Gingivalis, W83, has been shown to persist in human cells through autophagic compartments in previous studies. Pg0717 has been identified as an accessory gene in W83 suggesting it might contribute to the virulence phenotype of this strain. The objective of my University Scholars Project is to determine the role of pg0717 in the induction of host cell autophagy by determining the binding partners of its protein product, as well as exploring the function of its constituent domains.