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Dr.  Özlem Yilmaz' laboratory focuses on opportunistic pathogens and oral epithelial cell interaction. In particular, we study the bacterial modulation of epithelial response mechanisms, as well as the colonization, trafficking, and persistence of oral pathogens within the oral mucosa. Additionally, we examine the relationships between oral bacteria and chronic oral and systemic diseases.
Check Out Our Feature on NIH!

Our work was selected by the NIH to be included in their Image Gallery

Dr. Yilmaz became an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine

Dr. Özlem Yilmaz was honored to become an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, England in December 2017. The society is one of the U.K.’s major providers of postgraduate medical education. The Society promotes an exchange of information and ideas on the science, practice and organisation of medicine.

JoAnn Roberts has been invited to study at the Karolinska Institutet

JoAnn Roberts M.S., a PhD candidate in our lab, has been granted a scholarship to study redox biology this summer at the Karolinska Institutet.

JoAnn Roberts was awarded F31 Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Grant Award 

Congratulations to JoAnn Roberts, PhD Candidate in our lab, was recently awarded prestigious F31 Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Grant Award from NIDCR.

Jaden Lee was awarded prestigious AADR Student Research Fellowship

Jaden Lee, a DMD/PhD candidate in our, lab has won an AADR STudent Research Award to supplement his current research and travel to the next AADR meetings.

Jaden Lee was awarded F30 Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Grant Award for dual Doctoral Degree Fellowships

Congratulations to Jaden Lee, DMD/PhD candidate in our lab! Jaden was recently awarded an NIH F30 Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from NIDCR.

Microbes and Infection:     Special Issue

In July 2015, Dr. Yilmaz edited a special issue in Microbes and Infection, Institut Pasteur, that focuses on oral pathogens and microbiome in health and disease. 

Recent Selected Publications

  • Olsen I and Yilmaz O (2019). Possible role of Porphyromonas gingivalis in orodigestive cancers. J Oral Microbiol. Jan 9;11(1):1563410. doi: 10.1080/20002297.2018.1563410. eCollection 2019.

  • Lee K, Roberts JS, Choi C, Atanasova KR, Yilmaz O (2018) Porphyromonas gingivalis Traffics into Endoplasmic Reticulum-Rich-Autophagosomes for Successful Survival in Human Gingival Epithelial Cells, Virulence  April 4:1-26.doi:10.1080/21505594.2018.1454171

  • Lee JN, Roberts JS, Atanasova KR, Chowdhury N and Yilmaz O (2018) A Novel Kinase Function of a Nucleoside-diphosphate-kinase Homolog in P.  gingivalis is Critical in Subversion of Host Cell Apoptosis by Targeting Heat-Shock Protein 27, Cellular Microbiology, Jan 22.doi:10.1111/cmi.12825

  • Lee J, Yilmaz O (2018) Unfolding Role of a Danger Molecule Adenosine Signaling in Modulation of Infection and Host Cell Response. Invited Review, Special Issue: Purinergic Signalling in Cancer and Inflammation, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 19(1), 199; doi:10.3390/ijms19010199.

  • Lee J, Roberts JS, Atanasova KR, Han K, Chowdhury N and  Yilmaz O (2017) Human Primary Epithelial Cells Acquire an Epithelial-Mesenchymal-Transition Phenotype during Long-term Infection by the Oral Opportunistic Pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis. Front Cell Infect Microbiol.   Dec 1;7:493. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00493.

  • Roberts JS, Atanasova KR, Diamond G, Lee JN and Yilmaz O (2017) Opportunistic Pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis Modulates Danger Signal ATP-mediated Antibacterial NOX2 Pathways in Primary Epithelial Cells, Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2017 Jul 4;7:291. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00291. eCollection 2017

  • Spooner R, Weigel K, Harrison PL, Lee KL, Cangelosi G, and Yilmaz O (2016) In situ Anabolic Activity of Periodontal Pathogens Porphyromonas gingivalis And Filifactor alocis In Chronic Periodontitis Scientific Reports  6, 33638; doi: 10.1038/srep33638.

  • Atanasova K, Lee J, Roberts J, Lee K , David M Ojcius, and Yilmaz O (2016) Nucleoside-Diphosphate-Kinase of P. gingivalis is Secreted from Epithelial Cells In the Absence of a Leader Sequence Through a Pannexin-1 Interactome, Scientific Reports, 6, 37643; doi: 10.1038/srep37643

  • Morandini AC, Santos FC, Yilmaz O (2016), “Role of Epigenetics in Modulation of Immune Response At the Junction of Host Pathogen Interaction and Danger Molecule Signaling” Pathogens & Disease, 2016 Oct;74(7). DOI: 10.1093/femspd/ftw082.

  • Olsen I, Yilmaz O (2016), “Modulation of Inflammasome activity by Porphyromonas gingivalis in Periodontitis and Associated Systemic Diseases”, Journal of Oral Microbiology Feb 4; 8:30385.

  • Bui FQ, Johnson L, Roberts JS, Hung SC, Lee JN, Atanasova KR, Huang PR, Yilmaz O, and Ojcius DM (2016) Fusobacterium nucleatum Infection of Gingival Epithelial Cells Leads to NLRP3 Inflammasome-Dependent Secretion of the Danger Signals ASC and HMGB1 Cellular Microbiology Jul;18(7):970-81.  

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