Pioneering Discoveries Profound Change


Meet Our Scientists

  • Christopher Johnston

    Assistant Member of Staff
    Bacteria that cause inflammation and disease within the mouth are increasingly being found in association with extra-oral infections and systemic disease. Christopher Johnston is interested in the virulence mechanisms of bacterial species and determining how bacteria from the mouth estab...
  • Megan Pugach

    Assistant Member of the Staff
    Many people, at one time or another, have a dream that involves their teeth disintegrating. This common dream is said to represent fears and anxiety. For people with amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) this nightmare can become a reality. AI is actually a group of inherited developmental disorder...
  • Anne C.R. Tanner

    Senior Member of the Staff
    Anne Tanner is a Forsyth dentist/microbiologist whose research interests have encompassed periodontal infections and dental caries (cavities). Her pivotal studies in anaerobic microbiology led to the description of several major periodontal pathogens including Bacteroides forsythus, which...
  • Kerry Maguire

    Associate Clinical Investigator
    Kerry Maguire’s work links The Forsyth Institute’s past with its future. As the Program Director of ForsythKids, Maguire is on the front line delivering dental care to underserved children. The program is a two-way street, with ForsythKids delivering community-based prevention based on res...
  • Mary Tavares

    Senior Clinical Investigator
    Mary Tavares’ research is closely linked to Forsyth’s founding mission. With a focus on both clinical and public health research, Tavares is interested in bringing about policy change that has an impact on dental health. Her ultimate goal is to ensure better oral health and overall wellnes...
  • Susan Rittling

    Senior Research Investigator
    Root canals, which treat endodontic infections, are one of the most common dental procedures. Yet, up to 15% of root canals fail, and patients require retreatment, or tooth replacement.  Susan Rittling is trying to understand why these infections are so difficult to treat and to ultimately...
  • Felicitas Bidlack

    Associate Member of the Staff
    With a background in biology and anthropology, Felicitas Bidlack is interested in tooth formation, evolution, and the processes that drive mineral formation, and de-and re-mineralization of teeth. Her primary goal is to integrate her broad background into an interdisciplinary research appr...
  • Kyu Ha Lee

    Assistant Research Investigator
    Trained in Bayesian statistical methods, Dr. Lee’s research focus is on statistical methods development for microbiome studies. One research goal is to develop methods for understanding the spatial organization of microbes by using spectral imaging data (statistical point pattern analysis...
  • Markus Hardt

    Assistant Member of the Staff
    Markus Hardt studies the molecular mechanisms of disease, with the goal of finding pathways that lead to new diagnostics and therapeutics. Hardt is particularly interested in cancer pain. Effective treatment of pain remains a critical unmet goal in cancer therapy. Increased life expectanci...
  • Tsute (George) Chen

    Associate Research Investigator
    Scientific research today is truly interdisciplinary—computer science, statistics, mathematics and engineering all play an important role in the life sciences. Tsute Chen’s work illustrates how far research has evolved and its integration with different disciplines.  As Forsyth’s leading b...
  • Katherine P. Lemon

    Associate Member of the Staff
    Bacteria live on us, “in” us, and on surfaces all around us. Katherine Lemon, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, is trying to figure out how the good bacteria in the nose and throat help keep the “bad” bacteria out or, at least, under control. In addition to her work in the lab at...
  • Xiaozhe Han

    Associate Member of the Staff
    Xiaozhe Han is interested in the host immune response in periodontal disease tissue destruction, particularly in the area of osteoimmunology, the interaction between the immune system and bone metabolism and its role in inflammatory bone destruction. He focuses on a specific immune cell su...
  • Hatice Hasturk

    Associate Member of the Staff
    As a dentist and specialist (periodontist), Hatice Hasturk’s work mainly involves the oral cavity, but she is interested in much more than just improving dental care. She is working to understand the link between oral diseases and how they can affect the rest of the body.  Specifically, Ha...
  • Margaret J. Duncan

    Senior Member of the Staff
    Research in the Duncan lab focuses on how bacteria respond to environmental signals and become disease causing (‘pathogenic’).  Humans live peacefully with billions of microorganisms on and in their bodies. In reality, this benign coexistence is based on a dynamic and delicate equilibrium,...
  • Xuesong He

    Associate Member of Staff
    Forsyth Profile — audio interview Trained as a dentist and microbiologist, Xuesong He started his academic career by studying regulation of virulence gene expression in some of the main oral pathogens, including the cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans, and periodontal pathogen, Fusob...
  • Mark Cayabyab

    Associate Research Investigator
    Mark Cayabyab’s research focuses on vaccine development, as well as the role of innate immunity in the induction of protective memory immune responses. The overall goal of this research is to develop effective vaccines against infectious diseases. Forsyth has long been a leader in infectio...
  • Jing Zhou

    Assistant Research Investigator
    Sjӧgren’s syndrome is a prevalent and systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by immune system attacking self-salivary and lacrimal glands, leading to xerostomia and keratoconjunctivitis sicca as major clinical manifestations. This disease also can cause an increased incidence of dental...
  • Floyd Dewhirst

    Senior Member of the Staff
    Floyd Dewhirst was deciphering the oral microbiome before the term microbiome was created.  Dewhirst’s primary research focus has been to define the diversity, genetic capability and pathogenic potential of organisms present in the human oral cavity. Dewhirst has used sequencing of the 16S...
  • Thomas E. Van Dyke

    Senior Member of Staff
    Forsyth Profile — audio interview When Tom Van Dyke was asked what future innovation at Forsyth would spark an invitation to give a TED Talk, he had an interesting answer. “We’d be invited for doing one thing but the real breakthrough− and our message−would be something else entirely.  We’...
  • Jacqueline Starr

    Associate Member of the Staff
    Jackie Starr wears two hats, one as Director of Forsyth’s Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core, and the other as a principal investigator. As Director of the core, she plays a key support role for much of Forsyth’s research. She helps Forsyth investigators design their research studies. She...
  • Qing Yu

    Associate Member of the Staff
    Forsyth Profile — audio interview  Qing Yu is interested in understanding the immunological mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of several systemic autoimmune diseases that affect oral health, in order to develop effective and targeted therapeutic approaches for these diseases. One of h...
  • Gary Borisy

    Senior Research Investigator
    A recent collaborator with scientists at Forsyth, Gary Borisy, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, joined the Department of Microbiology in 2013. Although much of his previous scientific work has focused on mammalian cells, Borisy has recently developed a unique methodology to si...
  • Alpdogan Kantarci

    Associate Member of the Staff
    Through the integration of clinical and laboratory research, Alpdogan (Alp) Kantarci focuses on helping people live healthier lives with healthy mouths. “I see patients in the clinic, and when I work in the laboratory, I am keeping those patients front and center,” said Kantarci. “How can...
  • Pramod M. Soparkar

    Assistant Director of Clinical Investigation
    For almost 30 years, Pramod (Bob) Soparkar has been bringing Forsyth’s expertise to bear in the Middle East, while setting the paradigm for children’s oral health in Kuwait. In the 1980s, Soparkar and his colleagues at Forsyth were invited to Kuwait to establish a comprehensive oral health...
  • Yang Hu

    Assistant Research Investigator
    Periodontitis is an important public health problem among adults in the United States with major economic cost for prevention and treatment. It also has a significant impact on quality of life, un-controlled periodontitis can cause extensive tooth loss, jaw bone deterioration and increased...
  • Bruce J. Paster

    Senior Member of the Staff
    The Paster lab provides researchers with a scientific “canary in a coal” mine. With a one-of-a-kind service, the Human Oral Microbe Identification Microarray, Bruce Paster is using technology to probe DNA samples to see if they contain healthy or potentially harmful bacteria. HOMIM provide...

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