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Huizhi Wang

Huizhi Wang

Name: Huizhi Wang, MD, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor

Address: Oral Health and Systemic Disease Research Group, 

Dental School, Room 263 D.

Phone: 502-852-1583

Fax: 502-852-5572


Research Interests:

Oral bacterial-induced host immune responses are a key to the initiation and progression of both periodontal diseases and some systemic diseases including atherosclerosis, diabetes, arthritis, low birth weight, obesity and cancer. Such responses can be protective by controlling the bacteria challenge, or destructive through prolonged or excessive production of endogenous mediators of inflammation and tissue remodeling. My research focus is on the signal transduction pathways that regulate the magnitude and nature of the host immune response and identify the potential targets for intervention. Inhibition or interference with these pathways is a potential avenue to ameliorate the severity of inflammatory diseases and aid in the development of novel and innovative immunotherapeutics.


There are two central foci:

(1) How do oral pathogens, such as P. gingivalis, activate phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling and, thus, modify inflammation?

(2) What mechanisms are responsible for inflammatory regulation by PI3K and related signal molecules?


Currently, we are investigating the regulatory roles of serine/theronine and tyrosine protein kinases related to PI3K signaling pathway, such as Janus kinases (JAKs), glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3), serum glucocorticoid-induced kinase-1(SGK1), and Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1), in P. gingivalis-mediated inflammatory immune responses. We are assessing the feasibility of these signaling molecules as potential anti-inflammatory therapeutic targets in vivo.



Selected Publications:


1. Wang H., Brown J., Gao S., Liang S., Zhou H., Jotwani, R. Suttles J., Scott DA., Lamont RJ. The role of Janus Kinase (JAK)-3 in Regulating Toll-Like Receptor-Mediated Inflammatory Cytokine Production in Innate Immune Cells.  Journal of Immunology, Epub, 2013, August 1 (Corresponding author)

2. Adamowicz, K., Wang, H., Jotwani, R., Scott, D. et al., Inhibition of GSK3-b abolishes bacterial-induced periodontal bone loss in mice" Molecular Medicine, Epub, 2012, Jul 26.

3. Wang H., Brown J., Suttles J., Graves DT, Martin M. mTORC2 Negatively Regulates the Toll-like Receptor 4 Mediated Inflammatory Response Via FoxO1. Journal of Biology and Chemistry, 2011, Dec 30 286(52): 44295-305 (Co-first author and Corresponding author)

4. Wang H, Brown J, Garcia C, Liang R, Alard, P, Beurel E, Jope R, Greenway T, Martin M. Convergence of the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1- and Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3-b Signaling Pathways Regulates the Innate Inflammatory Response.  Journal of Immunology, 2011,May 1; 186(9): 5217-26. Epub 2011 Mar 21, PMID: 21422248. (Corresponding author)

5. Wang H, Brown J, Hajishengallis G, Martin M. TLR-signaling Networks:  An Integration of Adaptor Molecules, Kinases, and Crosstalk.  Journal of Dental Research. 2011 Apr; 90(4): 417-27. Epub 2010 Oct. PMID: 20940366 (Co-first author)

6. Wang H, Brown J, Martin M. Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3: A Point of Convergence for the Host Inflammatory Responses. Cytokine, 2011, Feb; 53(2): 130-140. Epub 2010 Nov 23. PMID: 21095632

7.Wang H, Benakanakere, M.R., Garcia CA, Kinane DF, Martin M. The Role of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3-b (GSK3-b) In the Interferon-b (IFN-b)-mediated IL-10 production. Journal of Immunology, 2011, Jan 15, 186 (2): 675-84. Epub 2010 Dec 15.  PMID: 21160051

8. Wang H, Garcia CA, Rehani K, Cekic C, Alard P, Kinane DF, Alard P, Mitchell T, Martin M. IFN-b production by TLR4-stimulated innate immune cells is negatively regulated by GSK3-b. Journal of Immunology. 2008 Nov 15; 181(10): 6797-802. PMID: 18981097

9. Wang H, Rehani K, Garcia CA, Kinane DF, Martin M. Toll-like receptor-mediated production of IL-1Ra is negatively regulated by GSK3 via the MAPK ERK1/2, Journal of Immunology, 2009,Jan 1; 182(1): 547-53. PMID: 19109187  (Co-first author)

10. Garcia CA, Wang H, Benakanakere, M.R., Kinane DF, Martin M. c-Jun Controls the Ability of IL-12 to Induce IL-10 Production from Human Memory CD4+ T Cells. Journal of Immunology, 2009, 183, 4475 -4482. PMID: 19734233

 11.  Rehani K, Scott DA, Renaud D, Hamza H, Williams LR, Wang H, Martin M. Cotinine-induced convergence of the cholinergic and PI3 kinase-dependent anti-inflammatory pathways in innate immune cells. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Mar; 1783(3): 375-82.

12. Wang H, Liang RQ, Wang HY, Ruan KC. Detection of tumor marker CA125 in ovarian carcinoma using quantum dots. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin, 2004 Oct; 36 (10): 681-6. PMID: 15483748.


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