Dillon Bale

 Dillon Bale
Mentor: Dr. Lakshmyya Kesavalu
College of Dentistry
 
"As a pre-dental student, I first began shadowing a wide variety of dental fields such as oral medicine, periodontal, orthodontics and general dentistry. As shadowing went on, I grew to become more interested in why and how periodontal diseases developed in the oral cavity. I then did some investigation and contacted several professors working in the Periodontal department of the University of Florida dental school. After several failed attempts, I finally landed a research position. I now have been working in the lab nearly two years and believe it has been the most rewarded experience of my undergraduate education."

Major

Food Science

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Periodontal Disease
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Nutrition

Academic Awards

  • Florida Medallion
  • UF University Scholars Program
  • Dean's List

Organizations

  • Alpha Tau Omega
  • Pre-dental Society
  • Habitat for Humanity

Volunteer

  • Tampa Bay Humane Society
  • Clinical Volunteering
  • Wounded Warrior Project

Hobbies and Interests

  • Fishing
  • Nature
  • Football
  • Animals

Research Description

Periodontal Pathogens Role in Alzheimer's disease
Periodontal disease (PD) is an inflammatory disease initiated by complex subgingival polymicrobial community of bacteria resulting in the inflammatory destruction of tooth supporting tissues including the gingivae, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Various clinical studies demonstrated a significant correlation between tooth loss due to PD and memory loss in Alzheimer's disease (AD), although the strength and relevance of the association remains to be fully investigated. AD individuals are know to have circulating antibodies to oral bacteria in their plasma, but a high titer of circulating IgG from a range of PD pathogens during advancing age statistically correlates with a possible onset of mild cognitive impairment and AD. One seminal study using molecular and immunological methodologies, demonstrated the presence of seven different oral Treponema species in 14 of 16 cases reaching statistical significance. There is a growing need for initiation of methodological studies demonstrating the presence of bacteria within the cerebral tissues. Keeping in view of the growing recognition of the potential of the role of periodontal pathogens in Alzheimer's disease it will be of significance to evaluate the presence of periodontal pathogens in the brains specimens of periodontal pathogens-infected mice and rats.