Recent Awards Granted to Faculty

December 2020

Dr. Valaria Gordan, PI
Restorative Dental Sciences
University of Alabama, NIH/NIDCR 1U19DE028717 (Supplement)
“The National Dental PBRN administrative and resource center”
$36,701 for One Year

Dr. Valeria Gordan

Dr. Zsolt Toth, CO-PI
Department of Oral Biology
Dr. Bernadett Papp, CO-PI
Department of Oral Biology
NIH/NIDCR R01DE028331
“Immune evasion mechanisms by a tumor herpesvirus in the oral cavity”
$1,810,940 for Five Years

Dr. Zsolt Toth
Dr. Bernadett Papp

October – November 2020

Dr. Patricia Xirau-Probert, PI
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Mary Koroly, CO-I
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, College of Medicine
Dr. Donna Parker, CO-I
Office of Diversity and Health Equity, College of Medicine
“Summer Health Professions Education Program” AGR00019642_77990
$330,000 for one year

Patricia Xirau Probert

Dr. Emily Bartley, PI
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Joseph Riley, III, CO-I Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Frank Gibson
Oral Biology
“OAIC Pilot Study: Pain resilience and inflammatory marker expression (PRIME)” Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Center
$24,742 for one year

Dr. Emily Bartley

Dr. Marcelle Nascimento, PI
Restorative Dental Sciences
Dr. Poliana Mendes Duarte Reis, CO-I
Periodontology
Dr. Robert A. Burne, CO-I
Oral Biology
“Arginine metabolism in periodontal health and diseases” NIH/NIDCR R21DE029304-01A1
$419,375 for two years

Dr. Marcelle Nascimento, PI
Restorative Dental Sciences
“UFCD Faculty Seed Grant: Measurements of arginine and its metabolites in oral samples” College of Dentistry
$12,500 for one year

Dr. Marcielle Nascimento

Dr. Seunghee Cha, PI
Oral & Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences
“Mechanisms and Therapeutic Modulation of T Cell Autoimmune Responses in Sjogren’s Syndrome”

NIH/NIDCR R56

UFL23838-2695


$208,250 for one year

Dr. Seunghee Cha

Dr. Calia Morais, PI
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Emily Bartley, Mentor
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Roger Fillingim, Mentor
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
“The impact of sociocultural factors and resiliency on musculoskeletal pain: A multiethnic study” University of Florida P30 Matching Funds
$25,000 for one year

Dr. Roger Fillingim

June – September 2020

Dr. Roger Fillingim, PI

Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science  

“Ethnic Differences in Responses to Painful Stimuli” NIH/NIA R37AG03906-S1 $116,110 for two years

Dr. Roger A. Fillingim, PI
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Alemida, CO-Director
“The integrative and multidisciplinary pain and aging research training (IMPART) program” NIH/NIA 2T32AG049673
$2,024,597 for five years

Dr. Roger Fillingim

Dr. Seunghee Cha, PI
Oral & Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences, Oral Medicine
Dr. Akaluck Thatayatikom, CO-I
Pediatric Immunology, College of Medicine
Dr. Weizhou Zhang
Pathology, College of Medicine
“Integrated transcriptomic profiling of recurrent parotitis in pediatric Sjögren’s syndrome for assessment of mitochondrial RNA regulators”
$75,000 for one year

Dr. Seunghee Cha, PI
Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences
“STING in Sjogren’s syndrome”

Sjogrens Syndrome Foundation
AGR00018455


$118,988 for one year

Dr. Seunghee Cha

Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez, PI
Oral Biology

“Metatranscriptome analysis of the effect of dental products on the oral microbiome”

Colgate-Palmolive Co
A-2019-610-OC


$157,025 for nine months

Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez

Dr. Luis R. Martinez Torres, PI
Oral Biology
“Unraveling Cryptococcus neoformans mechanisms of brain invasion and colonization” NIH/NIAID R01AI145559
$1,991,081 for four years

Luis Martinez

Dr. Robert A. Burne, PI
Oral Biology
“COVID_Supp_Probiotics that moderate pH and antagonize pathogens to promote oral health” NIH/NIDRC R01DE025832 (Supplement)
$215,292 for seven months

Robert Burne

Dr. Robert Caudle
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
“Exploring neuropeptide guided botulinum light chain for use in blocking pain transmission” Facial Pain Foundation
$235,000 for one year

Dr. Robert Caudle

Dr. Soamy Montesino Goicolea, PI
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Eric Porges, CO-I
Clinical and Health Psychology, COM

Dr. Zhiguang Huo, CO-I
Biostatistics, PHHP
Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, Mentor
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
“CTSI Pilot: Sleep, pain and aging: potential underlying mechanisms”
$7,500 for one year

Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Almeida

Dr. Robert Shields, PI
Oral Biology
“Development of new anti-caries therapeutics using a CRISPR interference platform” A-2020-0179-OC
$30,000 for one year

Robert Shields, College of Dentistry

Dr. Josephine Upshaw-Esquivel, PI
Restorative Dental Sciences

Dr. Fan Ren, CO-I
Chemical, College of Engineering
Dr. Steve Ghivizzani, CO-I Orthopaedics/Rehabilitation College of Medicine
“Novel coatings to minimize surface degradation and fracture susceptibility of dental ceramics” NIH/NIDCR R01DE025001-05S1
$219,405 for six months

Dr. Josephine F Esquivel-Upshaw

Dr. John K. Neubert, CO-PI
Orthodontics
Dr. Robert M. Caudle, CO-PI
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Adriaan Willem Bruijnzeel, CO-I
Psychiatry, College of Medicine
Dr. Marcelo Febo Vega
Psychiatry, College of Medicine
Dr. Barry Setlow
Psychiatry, College of Medicine
Abhisheak Sharma, CO-I
Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy
“Opioid and cannabinoid interactions in pain and reward” NIH/NIDA/R01DA04470-01A1
$3,077,200 for five years

Dr. John Neubert
Dr. Robert Caudle

January-May 2020

Dr. Robert Caudle, PI
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
“Therapeutic in situ analgesic implant for improved oral-facial post-operative pain outcomes”
Epigen Biosciences
$111,006 for one year

Dr. Robert Caudle

Dr. Sasanka Chukkapalli, PI
Oral Biology
Dr. William Dunn, CO-I
Anatomy, College of Medicine
Dr. Timothy Garrett, CO-I
“Integrated transcriptomics and metabolomics approach to define pathogenicity of P.gingivalis”
NIH/NIDCR R03DE028968
$305,000 for two years

Chukkapalli_Susanka_

Dr. Zsolt Toth, CO-PI
Oral Biology
Dr. Scott Tibbetts, CO-PI
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, College of Medicine
“Defining the classification and mutational landscape of gammaherpesvirus B cell lymphomas”
UFHCC 2019 Mechanisms of Oncogenesis Research Grant
$50,000 for one year

Dr. Zsolt Toth

Dr. Jean-Francious Roulet, PI
Restorative Dental Sciences
“Shade matching properties of new resin-based composite (Tetric Prime)”
Ivoclar AGR00017768
$10,000 for six months

Dr. Jean-Francious Roulet, PI
Restorative Dental Sciences
“Mechanical properties and wear resistance of new resin-based composite (Tetric Prime)”
Ivoclar AGR00017770
$18,000 for six months

Dr. Jean-Francious Roulet, PI
Restorative Dental Sciences
“Fatigue and wear behavior of two zirconium oxide ceramics manufactured with a new production process”
GEBR Brassler GMBH AGR00017497
$48,704 for one year

Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, Core Leader
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Marco Pahor, PI
Institute for Aging, College of Medicine
“University of Florida Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC)”
NIH/NIA P30AG028740
$24,335 for one year

Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, PI
Dr. Roger Filingim, CO-I

Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Thomas Foster, CO-I
Neuroscience, College of Medicine
Dr. Kimberly Sibille C0-I
Institute for Aging, College of Medicine
Dr. Zhiguang Huo, CO-I
Biostatistics, PHHP, College of Medicine
“Biobehavioral basis of knee osteoarthritis pain”
NIH/NIA P30AG028740
$2,679,958 for five years

Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Almeida
Dr. Roger Fillingim

Dr. Roger Fillingim, CO-I
Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
Dr. Rene Przkori and Dr. Patrick Tighe, CO-PIs
Anesthesiology, College of Medicine
“HEAL Initiative: Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network – Specialized Clinical Centers”
$78,048 for four years

Dr. Roger Fillingim

Dr. Robert A. Burne, PI
Oral Biology
“Antiviral Potential of Commensal Streptococci”
CTSI Rapid-Reponse Translational Research Project
$30,000 for six months

Robert Burne

Dr. Jia Chang, PI
Periodontology
Dr. Jianrong Lu, CO-I
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, College of Medicine
“Molecular control of bone development and inflammation by FBXO11”
NIH/NIDCR R01DE029200
$1,810,940 for five years

Dr. Jia Chang

November/December 2019

Dr. Poliana Mendes Duarte, PI
Dr. Ikramuddin Aukhil, CO-I

Periodontology
“Transcriptome sequencing of healthy and periodontitis-affected gingival biopsies of subjects with type 2 diabetes”
UFCD Seed Grant, awarded $17,000 for one year

Poliana Mendes Duarte
Aukhil Ikramuddin

Dr. Edward Chan, PI 

Oral Biology
Dr. Kesavalu Lakshmyya, PI and Dr. Jia Chang, CO-I
Periodontology
“Dominant microRNAs as biomarkers in innate immunity and periodontitis”

NIH/NIDCR R01DE028536, awarded $1,906,250 for five years

Edward Chan
Lakshmyya Kesavalu

Dr. Ann Progulske-Fox, PI, along with Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez, CO-I, and Dr. Sasanka Chukkapalli, CO-I (Oral Biology), and Dr. William Dunn, CO-I (Anatomy, College of Medicine)
“Investigating the viable but not culturable (VBNC) state in P. gingivalis”
NIH/NIDCR R01DE028656, awarded $1,810,940 for five years.

Ann Progulske Fox

September/October 2019

Dr. Patricia Xirau-Probert, PI (from Administration – Student Advocacy and Inclusion), received a one year, $330,000 award from Robert Wood Johnson. Her project is titled “Summer health professions education program — University of Florida, 2020” (Renewal).

Patricia Xirau Probert

Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez, UF PI, Oral Biology, received a two year, $45,873 award from Boston University/NIH/NIDCR. His project is titled “Role of the oral microbiome in oral squamous cell carcinoma Progression” (R21DE028063)

Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez

July/August 2019

Dr. Ann Progulske-Fox, PI, Oral Biology, received a four-month, $22,602 award from SalvDx. Her project is titled “Analysis of antigen reactivity.

Ann Progulske Fox

Dr. Ann Progulske-Fox, PI (Oral Biology) received a seven-month, $66,696 award from Keystone Bio. Her project is titled: Analysis of Mab61BG1.3 reactivity with strains of P. gingivalis.

Ann Progulske Fox

Dr. Brian Cooper, PI (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery), received a two-year, $1,028,938 award from the US Department of Defense. His project is titled: “Optimizing Kv7 channel openers for treatment of GWI pain.”

Dr. Brian Cooper

Dr. Mateus Garcia Rocha , PI (Restorative Dental Sciences) received a three-year Start Up Funding Award for $50,000 from the UF College of Dentistry.

Dr. Melissa Marchesan, PI (Restorative Dental Sciences), received a three-year Start Up Funding Award for $30,000 from the UF College of Dentistry.

Dr. Bernadett Papp, PI (Oral Biology), received a three-year Start Up Funding award for $350,000 from UF Shands Cancer Center.

Dr. Bernadett Papp

Dr. Roger Fillingim, PI (PRICE and Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science), received a five-year award from UFCD for $50,000 for his project titled: “Cost Share for PRICE Pilot Studies; NIH P30 award.”

Dr. Roger Fillingim

May/June 2019

Dr. Joseph Katz, PI, Oral & Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences. Received an award funded by HT BIOIMAGING for his project “Testing an infrared device to detect inflammatory, premalignant and malignant oral lesions.” The project totals $100,000.


Dr. Roger Fillingim, CO-I, Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, along with Phyllis Hendry, PI, Emergency Medicine, COM – Jacksonville Campus. They were awarded a subaward from the Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association for their project “Pain assessment and management initiative 3.0: Multimodal approaches to improve pain outcomes and reduce opioid risks.. The project will last two years and totals $21,226.

Dr. Roger Fillingim

Dr. John Neubert, Orthodontics, received four awards.

For the first, for which he is the CO-I alongside PI Jeffrey Boissoneault, Clinical Health Psychology, under the College of Health Professions. They received a NIH/NIAAA subaward for their project “Acute effects of alcohol use on chronic orofacial pain” (R21AA026805). The project will last two years and totals $51,339.

The second award Dr. Neubert received is from the Facial Pain Research Foundation for his project “Evaluation of a cellular therapeutic for the treatment of trigeminal pain.” The project will last one year and received $370,458.

The third award is from the UF Opportunity Fund for the project “Opioid and cannabinoid interactions in pain and reward.” Dr. Neubert is the PI alongside CO-PI Barry Setlow, Psychiatry, COM;, Jenny Wilerson & Lance McMahon Pharmacodynamics at UF COP, and Alexander Greening from the Chemistry, Liberal Arts and Sciences. The award is for $85,000 for two years.

The fourth is the UF-CRISP Moonshot Initiative Pilot Award for $46,750 for one year and for his project “Opioid and cannabinoid interactions in pain and reward.”

Dr. John Neubert

Dr. Yenisel Cruz Almeida, Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, received two awards. The first, for which she is a Multi-PI alongside Natalie Ebner from the College of Liberal Arts Department of Psychology, was from a NIH/NIA (R01AG059809). The award totals $1,563,125.00 for five years and is for their project “Mechanisms of Oxytocin’s analgesia in older adults.”

Dr. Cruz-Almeida’s second award was for “UFCD-DSP start up funds” from the UF College of Dentistry and UF Division of Sponsored Programs. It totals $100,000 for three years.

Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Almeida

Dr. Robert Burne, PI, from the Department of Oral Biology. Received an award from Clemson University NIH/NIDCR (R01DE028154) for his project “Oral microbiomes and dental caries in a human immunodeficiency virus infected population.” It totals $19,044 for five years.

Robert Burne

Dr. Zsolt Toth, PI, from the Department of Oral Biology, received an “Excellence award for UF assistant professors” from the University of Florida. It totals $5,000 for one year.

Dr. Zsolt Toth

Dr. Valeria Gordan, PI, from the Department of Restorative Dental Sciences. Received a University of Alabama NIH/NIDCR award (1U19DE028717) for “The National Dental PBRN administrative and resource center.” It totals $3,137,449 for seven years.


March/April 2019


Dr. Scott Tomar, PI, of the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science. Received an award funded by the Georgia Institute of Technology and NIH-NICDR (RO1DE028283) for his project “Access to preventative dental care for children in the United States” The project will last five years and totals $169,360.

Dr. Scott Tomar

Dr. Roger Fillingim, CO-I, of the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, and director of PRICE. He is collaborating with Todd Manini, PI, from the Center for Aging and Clinical Research. They received a NIH/NIA subaward for the project “Wearable technology infrastructure to enhance capacity for real-time, online assessment and mobility (ROAMM) in intervening in health events in older adults” (R21AG059207). The project will last five years and totals $36,720.

Dr. Roger Fillingim

Dr. Frank Gibson, PI, of the Department of Oral Biology, was awarded $150,000 from SutroVax INC for his project “Effect of SutroVax cocktail to prevent Porphyromonas gingivalis-elicited oral bone loss-efficacy #2″ (AGR00014350). The project will last one year.

Frank Gibson

Dr. Mary Ellen Davey, PI, from the Department of Oral Biology. She was awarded $150,000 from SutroVax INC for her project “Effect of SutroVax cocktail on Porphyromonas gingivalis biofilm formation and gene expression” (AGR00014484). The project will last one year.

Dr. Mary Ellen Davey

Dr. Robert Caudle, PI, from the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, received an award from The Facial Pain Foundation. The project, which will last for one year, totals $232,057 and will support his research “Exploring neuropeptide guided botulinum light chain for use in blocking pain transmission.”

Dr. Robert Caudle

Dr. Indraneel Bhattacharyya, CO-I, from the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences, along with Dr. Cuong Nguyen, PI, from the College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology. They were awarded a NIH/NIDCR Subaward for their project “Mapping the T cell receptor/antigen complex and identifying the genetic-based treatment in Sjögren’s syndrome” (R01DE028544). The project will last five years and totals $71,660.

Dr. Indraneel Bhattacharyya

Dr. Marcielle Nascimento, from the Department of Restorative Dental Sciences. She received a UFRF Professorship Award, which will last for three years and totals $3,000.

Dr. Marcielle Nascimento

January/February 2019

Dr. Roger Fillingim, Collaborator, of the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavior Science, and Director of price. Received an NIH/NHGRI-SUBAWARD-Year Two and Three U01HG007269 for the project entitled“Sparking advancements in genomic medicine.” Dr. Julie Johnson is the PI, of the College of Pharmacy’s Pharmacotherapy & Translational Research department.

Dr. Roger Fillingim

Ioanna Borissova, a DMD Student with mentor Dr. John Neubert of the Department of Orthodontics, received a UFCD Student Seed Grant for her project “To evaluate the effects of marijuana on orofacial pain sensitivity.” The project will last five months and totals $3,000.

Ionna Borissova

Dr. Surabhi Mishra, PI, is a postdoctoral associate with her mentor, Dr. Jeannine Brady in Oral Biology. She received a UFCD Transition to Independence Award for her project “Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus YidC and its potential utility as a future drug target.” The project will last for one year and totals $5,000.

Surabhi Mishra
Dr. Jeannine Brady

Dr. Zsolt Toth, PI, with Dr. Bernadette Papp, Co-I, both of the Department of Oral Biology. Dr. Toth received a four-year grant for $792,000 from the American Cancer Society for his project titled “Controlling the establishment of oncogenic herpesviralinfection.”

Dr. Zsolt Toth
Dr. Bernadett Papp