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Dr. Paul Fidel Awarded Research Grant

Paul L. Fidel, Jr., PhD, Carl Baldridge professor and associate dean of research at the LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD), has been named lead principal investigator of a $2.76 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The grant will pay for a five-year study into how HIV and antiretroviral therapy may change communities of bacteria in the mouth and how those changes may affect oral infections in HIV disease. The study addresses the changing models in mucosal disease of how bacterial communities promote health or contribute to disease.

Paul L. Fidel, Jr., PhD

Fidel will lead a research team including co-principal investigators Dr. Michael Hagensee, professor of medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and Drs. Ann Griffen and Gene Leys at Ohio State University. Researchers at Georgia Regents University will also collaborate.

The study will include people who are HIV-positive or HIV-negative and HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy, as well as people with oral thrush and human papillomavirus, or HPV-related oral cancer. The LSU portion of the study will be conducted in conjunction with the HIV Outpatient Program (HOP) at LSUHSC. Patients will be seen at the LSU Interim Hospital Clinical and Translational Research Center. Kenneth Dubois III, DDS, assistant professor in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, will serve as the study dentist and conduct all patient oral exams.

Patients who are interested in participating in the study should call 504-210-3475.

Dr. Brian Peters Joins LSUSD Faculty

Brian M. Peters, PhD, assistant professor, has recently joined the Department of Prosthodontics with secondary appointments in the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Biology and the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology. Dr. Peters received his BS in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University in 2005 and his PhD from the University of Maryland-Baltimore in 2010. His research focused on biofilms composed of bacteria and fungi. During his training as a postdoctoral fellow at LSUSD in the laboratory of Dr. Mairi Noverr, he further explored interactions of bacteria and fungi in the context of host immunity.

Brian M. Peters, PhD

Dr. Peters continues these studies focusing on the common bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, and the opportunistic fungus Candida albicans to determine how co-infection enhances disease. He is also studying how various fungal and host factors result in symptomatic yeast infections.

Dr. Peters has published 17 articles in peer-reviewed journals. His most recent articles, “Candida Albicans-Staphylococcus Aureus Polymicrobial Peritonitis Modulates Host Innate Immunity,” and “Fungal Morphogenetic Pathways are Required for the Hallmark Inflammatory Response During Candida Vaginitis,” co-authored with Drs. Mairi Noverr, Paul Fidel and Glen Palmer, appeared in 2013 issues of Infection and Immunity.

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Last Update 11/2013