Fata Moradali, Ph.D.

image Fata Moradali, PhD

Assistant Professor


Dept. of Oral Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Room 355, School of Dentistry
Office Phone: 502-852-5528
Email: fata.moradali@louisville.edu
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0230-5006

Research Themes: Host-Pathogen Systems Biology, Translational Research, Periodontal Infections, and Alzheimer’s Disease

We investigate host-pathogen interactions implicated in chronic infections and inflammations, with an emphasis on periodontal diseases and their comorbidities. Specifically, we aim to understand the cellular and molecular interactions between periodontal pathogens and the human body that lead to chronic infections and self-sustained inflammatory milieus. We study the structure and influence of immunomodulating and pro-inflammatory factors, as well as signaling components, on the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses at the molecular and cellular levels. The goal of our studies is to advance the understanding of the etiopathogenesis of periodontal diseases and associated comorbidities. Additionally, we aim to identify key contributors to the development and sustainability of inflammatory conditions, diagnostic biomarkers, and potential therapeutic targets.

Our research is interdisciplinary, leveraging innovative system-based approaches and integrating tools from molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, and bioengineering. We utilize various in vitro and in vivo models, as well as clinical samples, to advance our understanding and address complex scientific questions.

Areas of scientific expertise

  • Systems biology of host-pathogen interactions in chronic infections and inflammations
  • Signaling systems in host-pathogen interactions
  • Biofilm-based infections and underlying molecular dynamics
  • Structure and functionality of biopolymers and their biological and biomedical applications
  • Cell & biomaterial engineering for translational research and therapeutic applications

Our current projects focus on

  • Investigating the structural variation of lipopolysaccharides (or endotoxins) in periodontal pathogens and their contribution to inflammatory responses underlying periodontal inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Cyclic di-nucleotide-based signaling systems in the oral microbiome and their impact on the regulation of inflammatory responses 
  • Leveraging molecular engineering and imaging systems for deciphering the intricate molecular and cellular interactions implicated in chronic inflammatory conditions.
  • Translational research to bridge the gap between basic scientific discoveries and clinical applications, aiming to develop novel molecular tools and therapeutic strategies

 Current Funding

  • Pathoadaptive modulation of lipopolysaccharide structure and function in periodontal pathogens, 1R01DE033702-01 (PI)
  • The control of LPS heterogeneity and virulence by C-di-AMP signaling in Porphyromonas gingivalis, R03 DE031854 (PI)
  • Contribution of P. gingivalis LPS heterogeneity to inflammatory responses and development of Alzheimer`s Disease biomarkers, 3R03DE031854-01 (PI)
  • Regulation of LPS structure and function in P. gingivalis. P20 GM125504 (PI)


The University of Louisville Center for Biomedical Research (COBRE), in Functional Microbiomics, Inflammation and Pathogenicity (Research Project Leader)

Current lab members


Ratnam Seelan, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Masoud Hamidi, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Fatemeh Karimi Tabar, Ph.D.

Research Associate 

Selected Publications

  1. Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis on human serum albumin triggers programmed cell death. J Oral Microbiol,15(1):2161182 (2023)
  2. Atypical cyclic di-AMP signaling is essential for Porphyromonas gingivalis growth and regulation of cell envelope homeostasis and virulence. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes 8, 53 (2022)
  3. Metabolic plasticity enables lifestyle transitions of Porphyromonas gingivalis. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, 7(1):46 (2021)
  4. Biopolymers for biomedical and biotechnological applications. John Wiley & Sons (2021)
  5. Microbial cell factories for biomanufacturing of polysaccharides. In: Biopolymers for biomedical and biotechnological applications. John Wiley & Sons. (2021)
  6. PPAD activity promotes outer membrane vesicle biogenesis and surface translocation by Porphyromonas gingivalis. Journal of Bacteriology, 203(4) (2020)
  7. Bacterial biopolymers: from pathogenesis to advanced materials.  Nature Reviews Microbiology, 18, 195–210 (2020)
  8. The regulation of alginate biosynthesis via cyclic di-GMP signaling. In: Microbial cyclic di-nucleotide signaling. Springer (2020)
  9. Amino acids as wetting agents: surface translocation by Porphyromonas gingivalis. The ISME Journal, 13: 1560–1574 (2019)
  10. The role of alginate in bacterial biofilm formation. In: Extracellular sugar-based biopolymers matrices. Biologically-inspired systems, vol 12. Springer (2019)
  11. Alginates and their biomedical applications. Springer. (2018)
  12. Activation mechanism and cellular localization of membrane-anchored alginate polymerase in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 83 (9) e03499-16. (2017) 
  13. Alginate polymerization and modification are linked in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. mBio, 6 (3) e00453-15 (2015)