Faculty research

Faculty at the VCU School of Dentistry are involved in a variety of research activities related to oral health and education.

A. Omar Abubaker, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and S. Elmer Bear Chair

Clinical and basic research of congenital and developmental and traumatic diseases of the orofacial regions. 
Educational research and research on health care cost associated with oral and maxillofacial diseases

Peter C. Antinopoulos, D.D.S.
Assistant professor

Researching new caries detection systems to augment radiographs, transillumination, and tactile/clinical exam.

Richard D. Archer, D.D.S., M.S.
Director, clinical sciences education
Interim chair of endodontics

  • Endodontics testing for state board examinations
  • Instrumentation and irrigation
  • Local anesthesia

Elizabeth J. Berry, D.D.S., M.P.H., M.S.D.
Assistant professor

  • Infant oral health education
  • Early childhood caries prevention
  • Increasing access and utilization of dental services

Al M. Best, Ph.D.
Director of faculty research development

  • Statistical methods in dental research

John J. Boyle Jr., D.D.S., M.S.
Assistant professor

  • All-ceramic restorations
  • Restoring the endodontically treated tooth

Tegwyn H. Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Department chair, associate professor and research director

  • Oral health disparities and health services research
  • Pediatric oral health performance measures
  • Utilization of dental services in public programs
  • Delivery of oral health services in medical settings
  • Early childhood caries prevention
  • Infant oral health

Carol N. Brooks, D.D.S.
Associate professor

  • Dentin bonding
  • Composite resins
  • Periodontal research in the areas of genetic risk and immunology
  • Clinical aspects of general dentistry

David R. Burns, D.M.D.

  • Implant overdenture treatment
  • Restoration of endodontically treated teeth.

James C. Burns, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S.Ed.
Associate dean, clinical dental education
Chairman and professor of oral pathology

  • Oral cancer
  • Topical medicines for oral ulcers and aphthous ulcers
  • Retrospective analysis of oral lesions
  • Oral virology

B. Ellen Byrne, R.Ph., D.D.S., Ph.D.
Senior associate dean
Professor of endodontics

  • Educational evaluations
  • Curricula development

Laurie C. Carter, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Professor and director, oral and maxillofacial radiology
Director, advanced dental education programs

  • Correlation between presence of calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the carotid bulb on imaging studies and risk for stroke
  • Correlation of radiographic patterns of disease with histopathology
  • Biochemical measurements and biologic behavior

Alfred J. Certosimo, D.M.D., M.Ed.
Department chair

  • Clinical aspects of general practice dentistry

Kyle L. Coble, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Assistant professor

Applying Digital Story Telling techniques to dental education

Julie M. Coe, D.D.S., M.S., M.B.A.
Assistant professor

  • Health services research
  • Evidence based dentistry
  • Community-related research
  • Educational outcomes research

James P. Coffey, D.D.S., M.S.
Associate professor

  • Dental materials
  • Occlusion

Virginia N. East, D.D.S.
Assistant professor

  • Local anesthesia
  • Finding innovations in dental procedures 

Susie R. Goolsby, D.D.S., M.S.H.A.
Assistant professor and director of student recruitment

  • Caries Risk Management systems
  • Caries risk management cost efficiency
  • Motivational Interviewing 


Riki Gottlieb, D.M.D.
Director of admissions

  • Virtual Reality Simulation in dental education
  • Technological innovations in Dentistry
  • Technology use for caries detection

John C. Gunsolley, D.D.S., M.S.

  • Biostatistics
  • Meta-analysis
  • Dental clinical research methodology
  • Interactions between periodontal infection and systemic diseases
  • Over-the-counter dental products and their efficacy

Malinda M. Husson, D.D.S., M.S.D.
Assistant professor

  • Dental anesthesia
  • Special needs patients
  • Hospital dentistry
  • Local anesthesia
  • General anesthesia
  • Sedation dentistry

Terence A. Imbery, D.D.S.
Assistant professor and vice chair

  • Dental materials

Kim T. Isringhausen, B.S.D.H., R.D.H., M.P.H.
Assistant professor and chair

  • Community engaged scholarship
  • Service research

Altug Kazanoglu, D.M.D., M.S., FAAMP
Associate professor

  • Implant retained prostheses, fixed and removable
  • Materials in maxillofacial prosthodontics

Todd Kitten, Ph.D.
Associate professor

  • Examination of oral bacteria using genetic, genomic, post-genomic and molecular biological approaches.  I am particularly interested in examining Streptococcus sanguinis, both in its ability to serve as a beneficial member of the normal oral flora and in its role in causing infective endocarditis, a serious cardiac infection.

Thomas E. Koertge, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Vice chair and professor

  • Periodontics
  • Immunology
  • Antimicrobial drugs
  • Educational measures

Sharon K. Lanning, D.D.S.
Associate professor

  • Implementation and evaluation of educational programs and curricula thorugh the use of outcome assessment instruments such as knowledge surveys, satisfaction surveys, and evaluation criteria.

Janina P. Lewis, Ph.D.
Associate professor

  • Virulence of oral gram-negative bacteria implicated in development and progression of periodontal disease

Zhao Lin, B.D.S., M.S., M.M.Sc., Ph.D.
Assistant professor

Periodontal regeneration and periodontal tissue engineering

Steven J. Lindauer, D.M.D., M.D.Sc.
Professor and chair

  • Orthodontic biomechanics
  • Orthodontic clinical research
  • Jaw function

Oonagh Loughran, Ph.D.
Director of research management

  • Interplay between bacteria and virus in the development of cancer
  • The development of the research and educational programs of the School of Dentistry
  • Identification and development of commercial opportunities 

Francis L. Macrina, Ph.D.
Vice president for research
Edward Myers Professor of oral and craniofacial molecular biology and microbiology and immunology

  • Molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases including caries, periodontal disease and endocarditis
  • Microbial genomics
  • Research ethics

Michelle R. McGregor, R.D.H., B.S., M.Ed.
Director, dental hygiene program

  • Methods/curriculum effectiveness for teaching clinical dental hygiene
  • Assessment methods in dental education
  • Dental hygiene collaboration with other health care disciplines
  • Access to care and use of dental services
  • Web-based technology
  • Learning management systems
  • Open resources and student generated content in dental education
  • Periodontal inflammation and other makers for systemic disease

Peter C. Moon, Ph.D.
Associate professor

  • Bonding in dentistry
  • Evaluatoin and development of clinical biomaterial for general dentistry and dental specialties
  • Development of collagen/polymer scaffolds by mineralization for tissue engineering to promote bone and dentin repair
  • Use of bioactive glass and phosphoprotein molecules to activate mineralization and absorption of proteins of nano-apatite as related to dental implants and bone scaffolds
  • Salivary biomarkers for validation for cancer screening
  • Determination of cancer aggressiveness and the effectiveness of cancer treatment therapies

Joan M. Pellegrini, R.D.H., Ph.D.
Associate professor

  • Clinical dental hygiene
  • Adult learning
  • Instructional technologies
  • Educational strategies
  • Interdisciplinary clinical studies with medically compromised patients
  • Domestic violence prevention
  • Diversity and inclusiveness
  • Social media and education

Sonali A. Rathore, D.D.S., M.S.
Assistant professor

  • Advances in cone-beam computed tomography technology in dentistry

Karan J. Replogle, D.D.S., M.S.
Director, Advanced Education Program in Endodontics

  • Diagnosis utilizing cone beam computed tomography
  • Success/failure non-surgical root canal therapy fractured teeth, trauma
  • Dental materials related to rotary instrumentation

Robert Sabatini, D.D.S., M.S.
Assistant professor

  • Periodontics

S. Esra Sahingur, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Assistant professor

  • Genetic susceptibility for periodontal disease
  • Role of immune and inflammatory mediators and host-pathogen interactions in periodontal disease pathogenesis
  • Molecular markers that may link periodontal inflammation with systemic diseases

David C. Sarrett, D.M.D., M.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry
Associate vice president for health sciences

Dental restorative materials, restorative decision making

Harvey A. Schenkein, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Paul Tucker Goad Professor
Assistant dean for research
Director, Clinical Research Center for Periodontal Disease
Chair, Department of Periodontics

  • Genetic risk for periodontal diseases
  • Iimmunobiology of periodontal diseases
  • Periodontal infection and systemic diseases

M. Anjum Shah, B.S.D.H., R.D.H., M.S.
Assistant professor

  • Clinical dental hygiene
  • Instructional technologies

Bhavna Shroff, D.D.S., M.Dent.Sc., M.P.A.
Postgraduate program director

  • Biology of tooth movement
  • Tooth development and eruption
  • Orthodontic appliance design and biomechanics
  • Evaluation access to orthodontic care through Medicaid
  • Practice management
  • Evaluation of the orthodontic curriculum design and postgraduate education

Robert A. Strauss, D.D.S., M.D.
Professor and residency program director

  • Laser and cosmetic surgery
  • Sleep apnea
  • Anesthesia
  • Orthognathic and reconstructive surgery

John A Svirsky, D.D.S., M.Ed.

  • AIDS education grants
  • Clinical research drug studies
  • Early diagnosis of oral cancer

Tammy K. Swecker, B.S.D.H., M.Ed.
Associate professor

  • Instructional technologies and educational strategies
  • Adult learning
  • Service-learning
  • Clinical dental hygiene

Eser Tufekci, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., M.S.H.A.
Associate professor

  • Fluoride release from polymers
  • Development of a bioactive glass containing novel orthodontic bonding agent a calcium and phosphate releasing ability
  • Orthodontic materials
  • Clinical orthodontics

John W. Unger, D.D.S.
W. Tyler Haynes Professor and department chairman

  • Implant retained dentures

Sorin Uram-Tuculescu
Assistant professor

  • Implant supported prosthodontics
  • Digital dentistry
  • Patient management
  • Esthetic dentistry
  • Occlusion

Thomas C. Waldrop, D.D.S., M.S.
Professor and director, graduate periodontics

  • Implantology
  • Guided bone regeneration
  • Guided tissue regeneration and dental occlusion (as it relates to periodontal disease and treatment)

Patrice B. Wunsch, D.D.S., M.S.
Director, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry

  • Early childhood caries
  • Pulp therapy
  • Behavior management (pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic)

Ping Xu, Ph.D.
Associate professor

  • Genomics and human microbiome
  • Bioinformatics and systems biology for streptococcal virulence and gene functions
  • Drug targets identification

W. Andrew Yeudall, B.D.S., Ph.D., F.R.C.Path
Associate professor and director of basic dental science education

  • Diagnostic and predictive markers for squamous cell carcinoma
  • Cell cycle regulation
  • Growth factor signaling