Christine D. Wu, PhD

UICollaboratory Profile

Research Interests

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.


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.