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Photo of Tao, Lin

Lin Tao, PhD, DDS


Oral Biology



UIC College of Dentistry 801 S. Paulina Street, IL 60612


Selected Publications

Gravett MG, Jin L, Pavlova SI, Tao L. Lactobacillus and Pediococcus species richness and relative abundance in the vagina of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). J Med Primatol. 2012 Jun;41(3):183-90

Tao L, Pavlova SI, Ji X, Jin L, Spear G. 2011. A novel plasmid for delivering genes into mammalian cells with noninvasive food and commensal lactic acid bacteria. Plasmid. 65:8-14.

Jin L, Hinde K, Tao L. 2011. Species diversity and relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria in the milk of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). J Med Primatol. 40:52-8.

Schwartz J, Pavlova S, Kolokythas A, Lugakingira M, Tao L, Miloro M. Streptococci-Human Papilloma Virus Interaction With Ethanol Exposure Leads to Keratinocyte Damage. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Nov 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Vesper BJ, Jawdi A, Altman KW, Haines GK 3rd, Tao L, Radosevich JA. 2009. The effect of proton pump inhibitors on the human microbiota. Curr Drug Metab. 10:84-89.


  • Beijing Medical University, China, DDS, 1978
  • Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China, MS (Oral Medicine), 1981
  • University of Connecticut, PhD (Oral Biology), 1989
  • University of Oklahoma, Postdoc (Bacterial Genetics), 1991

Research Currently in Progress

Dr. Tao is interested in studying the role of interaction between bacteria and viruses in the health of the human hosts, women and infants in particular.  His research is focused on investigating the mechanisms that cause oral cancer, to ultimately lead to developing methods and products for early detection and prevention, and ultimately improved survival rates. Additionally, he is studying the associated factors leading to oral cancer. For instance, if we know the ‘accomplances’ that contribute to the development of the cancer, we can target the weakest once, and stop the cancer from spreading.

So far, most oral cancer cases have been attributed to either tobacco or alcohol usage, and viral infection. There is also clinical evidence to show that poor oral hygiene is associated with oral cancer. However, the mechanisms by which these conditions occur are still un-known, including how bacteria plays a part. We are the only research group studying both how and why bacteria can be a contributing factor in oral cancer; and how alcohol is converted to carcinogen, and contributing to HPV infection. Our long expertise in microbiology and microbial genetics, gives us the edge in effectively studying how bacteria contributes to cancer.