Overview of Research Program
Principle Investigator: Wenyuan Shi, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Oral Biology, UCLA School of Dentistry
Professor, microbiology and Immunology, UCLA School of Medicine
Director, UCLA Dental Research Service Center
Our goal is to use multidisciplinary approaches to conduct cutting edge research in the field of microbiology and biotechnology. Our research focus is to understand the signal transduction events during bacterial biofilm formation and inter-species interaction. We are also actively involved in the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools against microbial infections.
1). Study the role of type IV pilus and exopolysacchrides in gliding motility and biofilm formation of Myxococcus xanthus.
2). Elucidate the molecular mechanism of bacteriocin regulation in Streptococcus mutans and examine its role in microbial ecology and pathogenesis.
3). Understand the inter-species interaction of Treponema and Fusobacterium as a model for studying polymicrobial diseases.
4). Develop nanotechnology based biomarker detection system to study oral pathogens in saliva and biofilm and develop novel engineering and imaging tools for bacterial biofilm studies including confocal, AFM, QCM, EIF, Microjet etc.
5). Generate precision guided antimicrobial peptides for targeted antimicrobial therapy against bacterial pathogens within multi-species biofilm communities.