Lamont plans to raise the profile of oral health research


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Richard J. Lamont, PhD, recently began his new role as director of the Oral Health and Systemic Disease group, University of Louisville, School of Dentistry. He is also the Delta Dental Endowed Professor.

    “We look forward to new discoveries from the Oral Health and Systemic Disease group under the leadership of Dr. Lamont,” said John Sauk, dean, School of Dentistry. “We hope his leadership will raise the profile of our research enterprise.”

    Lamont brings four major grants from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research. His research focuses on the molecular dialogue among oral bacteria and the means by which these bacteria manipulate host cells – this work has led to new insights into how bacteria thrive in humans.

    “We know the mouth is the window to the rest of the body – oral bacteria persist in part by organizing into complex multi-species communities that have devised sophisticated ways to avoid the attention of the immune system,” Lamont said. “It is widely recognized that periodontal disease significantly elevates the risk of heart disease and also increases the risk of pregnant women having small babies that need considerable health care support.”

    Lamont has authored more than 100 scientific papers and given scientific presentations nationally and internationally. He has written and edited several textbooks including Oral Microbiology and Immunology, the first textbook of its kind to focus primarily on the knowledge and understanding of the oral ecosystem and its unique role in human health and disease. The book details the ecology, virulence, molecular biology and immunogenicity of oral bacteria, viruses and fungi and examines their interface with the human host.

    Lamont is the co-editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Oral Microbiology and sits on the editorial board of Infection and Immunity.

    He earned his doctorate in bacteriology from the University of Aberdeen. He was a postdoctoral fellow in microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Lamont was most recently a professor in oral biology at the University of Florida.

    He succeeds Dennis Kinane as director of the Oral Health and Systemic Disease group at the UofL School of Dentistry.

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.