Current Major Projects
Comparative Genomics of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa)
Aa is a common inhabitant of the oral cavity that is associated with periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It affects over 3 million Americans. Our research on Aa focuses on understanding the variable components of the genome and their impact on pathogenicity.
Understanding the Role of Propionibacteriain Prosthetic Infections
More than 50,000 shoulder replacement surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year and this rate is increasing. The failure rate of shoulder implants is approximately 1.5-2% per component year and approximately 15% of all implants will fail within the lifespace of the patient. We estimate that ~50% of all shoulder implant failures are infected with one or more Propionibacterium species. Similar failure rates are observed with spine implants. Our ultimate goal is to better understand how to reduce the rate of infection and how to better treat patients with Propionbactium infections.