Mentor: Dr. Luciana Shaddox
College of Dentistry
"I hope to learn more about the field I plan to study the rest of my life. I would like to learn about the basics of dental terminology, parameters, and treatment as I would like to begin my pursuit of becoming a dental professional."
- Physics and genetics
- Dental research
- The effects of cytokines and chemokines in hyperactive periodontitis
- Acorn Dental Clinic
- UF College of Dentistry Clinic-2B
- UF College of Dentistry Periodontal Department
Hobbies and Interests
- Playing bamboo flute
- Writing a novel
- Studying Krishna Consciousness and Christianity
Hyper-Reactive Immunological Responses in Localized Aggressive Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis causes severe inflammation and destruction of the tissues that hold and support our teeth. These tissues include the gums, the bone of the tooth socket, and the connective tissue that stabilizes the tooth in its socket known as the periodontal ligament. Periodontitis is believed to be caused by plaque, bacteria and its products that accumulate and infect the gums, and the immunological response to the infection. While treatments for periodontitis exist and gradually cease tissue and bone destruction in some patients, some tissue defects can never be recovered. One form of periodontitis, known as Localized Aggressive Periodontitis (LAP), rapidly progresses with a higher bone-destruction to plaque ratio (1). Individuals with LAP have unique antibodies in their gum that hyperactively respond to infecting agents, such as bacteria, that is normally present in the gums. It has been shown that African-Americans have a higher incidence of LAP, and that LAP is common in parents and siblings, suggesting that these hyperactive antibodies may be passed down specific genetic lines. While these factors are known to play an important role in LAP, the mechanism of the immunological response and its impact on the gum and bone tissue is not well understood due to limited research. Further studies on LAP can lead to more effective treatment strategies. Specific Aims: (1) To compare the cytokine and chemokine levels between LAP patients and healthy controls; (2) To correlate cytokines and chemokines levels to clinical parameters that defines gum and bone tissue health in LAP patients and healthy controls; (3) To determine the change in cytokine and chemokine levels during the course of periodontal treatment in LAP patients.