Recent Awards Granted to Faculty


July/August 2017

Dr. Roger FillingimDr. Roger Fillingim, Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences/Director of the Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence (PRICE) is a participant of the National Institute of Health and the National Institute on Aging Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01AG054764).  As a renowned pain researcher and former president of the American Pain Society he provides the principal investigator, Dr. Yu-Jung Wei, UF Department of Pharmacology with career development training and resources related to pain mechanisms and research. The award enables Dr. Fillingim the collaborative opportunity to work with UF Health and Science Center Departments of Public Health & Health Professions, as well as Aging and Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine.



Dr. Micaela Gibbs, Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences received an award for $7,307 from HRSA, for a six-month project entitled “Ryan White Dental Reimbursement Program for University of Florida College of Dentistry Community Based Programs” (T22HA31224). The purpose of this program is to improve access to oral health care services for low-income, underinsured, and underserved people living with HIV (PLWH) and to train dental and hygiene students and dental residents to deliver dental care to these individuals, by defraying a portion of unreimbursed dental care costs for eligible individuals at participating locations.

Dr. Gibbs provides expertise is this project as the program director, a former faculty member for the Florida and Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center, and previously was the dental director of an HIV-only public health facility.


Dr. Shannon Wallet, Department of Oral Biology received two awards in July. The first is a subaward from Dr. Benjamin Keselowsky, Department of Biomedical Engineering, originating from the NIH/NIDCR. The project is entitled “Tissue-targeted enzyme for localized tryptophan catabolism to direct subcutaneous and oral mucosal inflammatory responses”. Dr. Wallet is receiving $179,354 over a four-year period for her extensive experience with immune regulation, as well as immunity/pathogenesis of periodontal disease.

Dr. Wallet also received University of Florida College of Dentistry’s Bridge Funding, for $45,000. The program, intended to provide limited interim financial support for ongoing funded federal research projects, which have a strong chance for external support based on excellent priority scores or very positive reviewer comments received after submitting a renewal application. Dr. Wallet is collaborating with the Centers for Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Transplantology to support the project entitled “Genetic regulation of intestinal epithelial cell innate immune signaling in human type 1 diabetes” in an approach to develop useful therapeutic protocols for type 1 diabetes.


Danielle Vermilyea, a graduate assistant in the Department of Oral Biology received the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31DE027278) for an Individual Predoctoral Fellowship, from the NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research entitled “Determining how PPAD modulates Porphyromonas gingivalis biofilm development.” The award is given to promising predoctoral students and totals $79,621, covering a two-year period.  Danielle is mentored by Dr. Mary Davey, Associate Professor in the Department of Oral Biology, while she continues with her dissertation research.



Dr. Kesavalu Lakshmyya, Department of Periodontology received $419,375 from the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The two- year project (R21NS102926) is entitled “Periodontal bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease”. Dr. Lakshmyya is collaborating with Drs. Yona Levites and Todd Golde of the Department of Neuroscience in the College of Medicine for their expertise in neuroinflammatory mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. Together they will work towards determining a link between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease.


Dr. Jeannine Brady, department of Oral Biology received an UFRF Professorship Award is funded for three years in the  amount of  $3,000.



Dr. Ann Progulske-Fox, department of Oral Biology received a NextScience LLC award for one year, in the amount of $161,024.  The title of her project, Clinical effectiveness of Next Science oral rinse in controlling plaque and gingival inflammation”.



Dr. Roger Fillingim

Dr. Roger Fillingim,  department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, PRICE received a Subaward from Dr. Marco Pahor, UF Institute for Aging for one year in the amount of $19, 222 titled “Claude D. Pepper older Americans independence: pilot project” NIH/NIA P30AG028740″ .

Dr. Fillingim also received from Duke University NIH/NIAMS R0AR055899 Subaward from Physical Therapy; College of Health Professions, PI Dr. Mark Bishop for four years, in the amount of $61,046 titled “Biopsychosocial influence of shoulder pain” .


Dr. Scott Tomar, department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science received an award titled “The child health quality (CHeQ) partnership program” Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality U18HS0252998 Subaward from Elizabeth Shenkman, M.D., Institute for Child Health Policy for one year in the amount of $35,821.



Drs. Zsolt Toth (PI) and Bernadette Papp (C0-I),  department of Oral Biology, Dr. Laurence Morel (Co-I) MD-Pathology and received an award titled “Immune evasion mechanisms during oral infection by an oncogenic herpevirus” DSP Opportunity Fund for two years in the amount of  $95,000.



Dr. Mary Ellen Davey

Dr. MaryEllen Davey (Co-I), department of Oral Biology and Dr. Shouguang Jin, (PI) MD, Molecular Genetics, received a DSP Opportunity Fund for two years in the amount of $95,000 and titled“Identification of fecal bacteria with anti-clostridium difficile activities”.



 Dr. Shannon Holliday (CO-I) department of Orthodontics and Dr. Laurie Gower (PI), department of Engineering-Materials Science received an award from US Army W81XWH-17-1-0100  in the amount of $148,858 for two years and titled “Biomimetic bone for load-bearing bioresorbable nanostructured bone substitutes”.



Dr. Wellington Rody

Dr. Wellington Rody, department of Orthodontics received a UFCD Seed Grant for one year in the amount of $16,000, and titled “Characterization of clastic-cell exosomes in oral fluids: a step toward clinical application”.

Dr. Rody also received a “Pilot study: Metabolomics profiling of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) in the presence of dentin resorption”, from UF Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics, for one year in the amount of $10,750.


Dr. Robert Caudle, department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery received from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Gainesville Florida $33,782 for two years, titled “Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement”.

Dr. Monica Fernandez Recipient of NIH Diversity Supplement, and Dr. Josephine Esquivel (PI) department of Restorative Dental Sciences received an award from NIH/NIDCR  in the amount of $314,744  for two years, titled “Novel coatings to minimize surface degradation and fracture susceptibility of dental ceramics”.





Dr. Jeannine Brady, department of Oral Biology received a renewal of her NIH/NIDCR grant entitled, “Functional amyloid formation in streptococcus mutans” (R01DE021789).  The  2.3 million award is funded for a five year period.  Collaborating with Dr. Brady is Dr. Joanna Long, PhD  in the College of Medicine’s department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.



Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez, department of Oral Biology, received a subaward from Dr. Flavia Teles, University of North Carolina for the study “Targeted cultivation of new periodontal pathogens.” The study, funded by NIDCR (R01DE024767) is for a three year period. UFCD’s funding totals $102,272.



John Calise, a PhD candidate in the department of Oral Biology received a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship, for a study entitled “Determining the role of IMPDH filaments in mammalian guanine nucleotide homeostasis. “ The award provides $46,000 in annual funding for up to three years.  Dr. Edward Chan, department of Oral Biology is John’s mentor.

Dr. Shannon Wallet, department of Oral Biology received a subproject from Dr. Andrew Judge, department of Physical Therapy, PHHP.   The study entitled “Initiating mechanisms of cancer cachexia” is funded by the Florida Department of Health, James and Esther Biomedical Research Program-Bankhead Coley Cancer Research. Dr. Wallet is receiving $77,861 for the three-year study.

Dr. Ana Duran-Pinedo, department of Oral Biology, transferred the third year of her NIH/NIDCR R03 award entitled “Highly up-regulated proteins in Tannerella forsythia during periodontal disease” (R03DE023394-03).   The one-year award is funded for $67,166.

Dr. Jacqueline Abranches, department of Oral Biology received $30,000 from Colgate for a one-year study entitled “Association of Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans in early childhood caries recurrence.”


Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez, department of Oral Biology received a 2.5 million dollar grant from NIH/NIDCR entitled “Dysbiosis of the subgingival microbiome: host-microbial metatranscriptomic, analysis during periodontal disease progression and post periodontal treatment” (R01DE021553).  The project focuses on the interactions between organisms and host during periodontitis progression, in order to develop specific treatments against disease. The five-year study originated at The Forsyth Institute, involving collaborations with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Bernadett Papp, department of Oral Biology, was awarded $152,500 from NIH/NICHD for a two year study entitled “Functional dissection of the mechanism that lead to loss of somatic cell identity” (R03HD088380).  The aims of the project are to reveal the mechanism of loss of somatic cell identity, and to lay the foundation for rational design of defined mediums to control specific cell fate changes in vitro.


Drs. Jose Lemos and Shannon Wallet, Oral Biology, received a $20,000 seed grant from the UFCD Office of Research. The one-year award title, “Enterococcus faecalis pathogenesis in wound infections.”




Dr. Gill Diamond, department of Oral Biology, was awarded $25,000 from the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  The one-year grant is for a pilot project entitled “In vivo imaging method for rapid preclinical screenings of antifungal drugs in mice.”



Dr. Frank Gibson, Oral Biology received $172, 802 from NIH/NIDCR for the award entitled “PPARs and periodontal disease” (R21DE024275).   The two-year project originated at Boston Medical University with the remaining year transferred to UFCD.



Dr. Jean-Francois Roulet, Director, Center for Dental Biomaterials received two corporate awards to study the effects of wear in dental biomaterials. Ivoclar provided $18,559 for the “Wear of two basic composites and a glass ionomer posterior restoratives.   Ultradent awarded Dr. Roulet $27,450 for the project entitled “Wear of six commercial composite restorative resins.”



Esquivel22337_160Dr. Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, Associate Professor, Restorative Dental Sciences, received a 2016 UF Division of Sponsored Programs Opportunity Fund award for the project entitled “Novel coating to minimize bacterial adhesions and tooth wear in denture acrylic.” The two year award was funded for $89,000.  Dr. Esquivel is collaborating with Dr. Ren Fan in Chemical Engineering and Dr. Luciana Shaddox in Periodontics.



????????????????????????????????????Dr. Patricia Xirau-Probert, Assistant Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs received $415,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the project titled, “Florida’s roadmap to a diverse health workforce: Summer health professions education program.” Dr. Xirau-Probert will coordinate with all six Health Science Center colleges to provide a six-week summer residential program for 80 under-represented minority and/or disadvantaged college students.


Dr. Roger FillingimDr. Roger Fillingim, Director of the Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence (Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences) is collaborating with Dr. Kimberly Sibille, Department of Aging and Geriatric Research (UF Institute on Aging) on a NIH project entitled “Health disparities in osteoarthritis: Biological aging, stress and pain – modulation by resilience factors” .  This National Institute of Aging award provides Dr. Fillingim with $191,721 for a five year period.


McHugh_Kevin_webDr. Kevin McHugh, Associate Professor in the department of Periodontology received a $19,139 seed grant from the College. The award is for the project entitled “Is epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) involved in periodontal disease?”



rouletDr. Jean-Francois Roulet, Director of the Center for Dental Biomaterials (Restorative Dental Sciences), received $18,559 from the Ivoclar-Vivadent corporation. The one-year award is for the study entitled “Wear of two basic composites and glass ionomer posterior restoratives.”