Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology

The team of researchers in The Center of Excellence consists of over 60 faculty members from clinical and basic science departments in the LSUHSC. The highly productive faculty members not only strive to develop and improve the current information available to the dental profession, they also impart their research knowledge base to dental students and postgraduate residents who participate in research projects each year.

Dr. Paul Fidel, PhD
Center Director

Dr. Paul Fidel, Jr. graduated from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree in Biology in 1984. He then attended the University of Oklahoma where he continued his studies, and received a M.S. and finally Ph.D. degree in Microbiology in 1988. He joined the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Immunology and Microbiology and was eventually appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease in 1990. Dr. Fidel also received a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics/ Gynecology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. In 1995, Dr. Fidel came to the Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans to serve as an Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology. He also had a joint appointment in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he became a tenured Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology in 1999. He was the recipient of the Medical Mycology Millenium Competition Award given by the Journal of Medical Mycology and International Society of Human and Animal Mycology. He also received an award in 1999 from Who's Who Among College Professors. Dr. Paul Fidel was named holder of the Carl Baldridge Chair in Oral and Craniofacial Biology and appointed the director of the Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology in 2001. He has authored nearly 120 publications and has served as Principal Investigator for 20 research grants totaling over $25 million, 14 of which were from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Fidel regularly serves on various NIH research review committees to determine the viability of research grant submissions nationwide. Dr. Fidel's research interests include pathogenesis and immune defense mechanisms against oral and vaginal yeast infections, and oral microbiome in HIV disease

Thomas Lallier, PhD
Assistant Director

Since 1997, Dr. Thomas Lallier has been a member of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. Since 2001, he has acted as the Coordinator of Student Research for the LSU School of Dentistry and was appointed Assistant Director to the Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology in 2002. He has served in many educational capacities; teaching to undergraduate dental students, dental post-graduates as well as graduate students. He is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of cell migration. He is currently focusing on two model systems (1) the embryonic craniofacial development of the frog Xenopus laevis and (2) the regeneration of the human periodontium. Both systems involve investigating the role of cell-extracellular matrix interactions in guided cell migration and differentiation. His most recent work has investigated the role of a family of cell surface guidance molecules (semaphorins) and a family of cell-extracellular matrix attachment proteins (integrins) in periodontal regeneration and craniofacial formation.

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Last Update 08/2017