Christine D. Wu, PhD
College of Dentistry 801 S. Paulina, IL 60612
Dr Wu is a Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois-Chicago. She serves as Honorary Professor for the West China School of Stomatology, SiChuan University in Chengdu, China, and is a consultant to the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. Her research involves the exploration and identification of plant-derived oral antimicrobial agents for the control of oral pathogens and their biofilms. As an advocate and promoter of functional foods for oral health, her research has gained both national and international reputation. Her research group’s studies on tea, honey, raisins, dried plums, cranberries, and others have greatly contributed to the field of nutrition and functional foods that benefit oral health. She is President of the Mid-America Chinese American Professionals Association, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Breath Research. She recently served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Breath Research Unit of the Austrian Academy of Science. She has been honored by the UIC College of Dentistry as an Outstanding Research Mentor of the Year, by the state of Illinois as an Outstanding Asian American Woman in Science and Technology, and by the Chicago Foundation of Women and the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. Dr Wu has been an active contributor to many scientific institutions and has received many other honors and awards over the years.
Naval S., A. Koerber, L. Salzmann, I. Punwani, B. Johnson, C. D. Wu. Effect of Beverages on plaque acidogenicity after a sugary challenge. J Amer Dent Assoc. In press. 2013.
Liu J., J.Q. Ling, K. Zhang, C.D. Wu. Changes in physiological properties of Streptococcus mutans biofilm-detached cells. FEMS Microbiol Lett 2013 Epub.
Gong S.Q., L.N. Niu, L.K. Kemp, C.K. Yiu, H. Ryou, Y.P Qi, J.D. Blizzard, S. Nikonov, M.G. Brackett, R.L. Messer, C.D. Wu, J. Mao, L. Bryan Brister, F.A. Rueggeberg, D.D. Arola, D.H. Pashley, F.R. Tay. Quaternary ammonium silane-functionalized, methacrylate resin composition with antimicrobial activities and self-repair potential.Acta Biomater. 2012 Sep;8(9):3270-82. Epub 2012 May 2
Gong S.Q., J. Epasinghe, F.A. Rueggeberg, L.N. Niu, D. Mettenberg, C.K. Yiu, J.D. Blizzard, C.D. Wu, J. Mao, C.L. Drisko, D.H. Pashley, F.R. Tay. An ORMOSIL containing orthodontic acrylic resin with concomitant improvements in antimicrobial and fracture toughness properties. PLoS One, 7(8):e42355, 2012. Epub 2012 Aug 1.
Xie Q, B.R. Johnson, C.S. Wenckus, M.I. Fayad, C.D. Wu. Efficacy of berberine, an antimicrobial plant alkaloid, as an endodontic irrigant against a mixed-culture biofilm in an in vitro tooth model. J Endodon. 38(8):1114-1117, 2012.
Research Currently in Progress
My main research program involves the exploration and identification of plant-derived oral antimicrobial agents for the control of oral pathogens and their biofilms. Many such compounds have been identified, and their mechanistic studies against oral pathogens have been evaluated. These compounds may find application directly as dental prophylactic/therapeutic agents or serve as lead compounds for the subsequent design and synthesis of new agents that are safer and more effective than the existing ones. The mechanistic studies of natural agents that interfere or prevent dental plaque microbial biofilm formation are emphasized and the effects of these agents on de- and re-mineralization of dental caries lesions are also examined. Clinical studies conducted in my laboratory include the investigations of natural products, beverages, snack foods, or chewing gums on human oral microflora, plaque biofilm accumulation and acidity/glycolysis. I am an advocate and promoter of functional foods for oral health. Research by our team in this respect has gained both national and international reputation. Our studies on tea, honey, raisins, dried plums, cranberries, etc. have greatly contributed to the field of nutrition and functional foods that benefit oral health.
Functional Foods Research for Healthy Teeth
For more than two decades, Dr. Wu’s lab has focused on the exploration and identification of plant-derived anti-plaque and anti-biofilm compounds to evaluate the oral health benefits of foods and beverages, including milk, tea, cranberries and dried plums. She also develops internationally and industry focused collaborations to advocate functional foods and beverages for oral health research.