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The Ohio State University College of Dentistry  


Purnima Kumar

Assistant Professor of Periodontology

B.D.S. Annamali University 1987; M.D.S., Madras Dental College, 1991: Certificate: The Ohio State University, 2006 Ph.D. The Ohio State University, 2005.

Phone: 614-292-0431

Research interests
The bacterial community profile in periodontal health and disease; host-bacterial interactions, clinical research

Description of Research
My research focuses on studying oral bacterial profiles associated with periodontal health and disease using an integrated approach combining clinical research, epidemiology, molecular microbiology and bioinformatics. I am also interested in exploring the interaction between a health-compatible or a pathogenic bacterial colonization and the human host. Two major projects are currently underway in the laboratory. The first involves the characterization of subgingival microbial profiles of periodontally healthy smokers and smokers with periodontitis. Smoking can cause changes in the human host, including host-associated bacterial colonization factors. Thus, it is possible that smokers have a unique microbial profile that is different from non-smokers. This has proved to be the case in other ecosystems in the body. Our previous studies have shown that most of the subgingival bacteria are uncultivated, and hence are not known or recognized as pathogens. Current studies are directed towards identifying previously unknown and unsuspected bacterial species associated with health and disease in smokers.
I am also studying the role of host genetics on oral bacterial colonization. Current studies are directed towards understanding the role of the host genotype on determining host-specific bacterial colonization.

Recent Publications
DeAngelo SJ, Kumar PS, Beck FM, Tatakis DN, Leblebicioglu B. Early soft tissue healing around one-stage dental implants: clinical and microbiologic parameters. Journal of Periodontology 78:1878-1886, 2007.

Kumar PS, Leys EJ, Bryk JM, Martinez FJ, Moeschberger ML, Griffen AL. Changes in periodontal health status are associated with bacterial community shifts as assessed by quantitative 16S cloning and sequencing. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 44:3665-3673, 2006.

Kumar PS, Griffen AL, Moeschberger ML, Leys EJ. Identification of candidate periodontal pathogens and beneficial species by quantitative 16S clonal analysis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 43: 3944-3955, 2005.