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Photo of DiPietro, Luisa A.

Luisa A. DiPietro, DDS, PhD

Professor, Director, UIC Center for Wound Healing & Tissue Regeneration



Building & Room:



801 S. Paulina St, IL 60612


Dr. Luisa A. DiPietro is Professor of Periodontics and Director of the UIC Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration. Dr. DiPietro received both her DDS and PhD in immunology from the University of Illinois Chicago, and completed a residency in hospital dentistry at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Dr. DiPietro’s research focuses on wound healing, and she has been the recipient of more than $19 million in extramural research grants and contracts. Her work has been cited more than 27,000 times. Her honors and awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wound Healing Society, the Mentor of the Year Award from the American Association for Dental Research Student Research Group, and the University of Illinois - University Scholar Award. Dr. DiPietro is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council for the National Institutes of Health.

Selected Publications

Han C, Leonardo TR, Romana-Souza B, Shi J, Keiser S, Yuan H, Altakriti M, Ranzer MJ, Ferri-Borgogno S, Mok SC, Koh TJ, Hong SJ, Chen L, DiPietro LA. Microfibril-associated protein 5 and the regulation of skin scar formation. Sci Rep. 2023. 13(1):8728. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-35558-x. PMID: 37253753; PMCID: PMC10229580.

Romana-Souza B, Chen L, DiPietro LA. Repeated stress-induced crosstalk between the sympathetic nervous system and mast cells contributes to delayed cutaneous wound healing in mice. J Neuroimmunol. 2023. 379:578104. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2023.578104. Epub 2023 May 11. PMID: 37196594.

Leonardo TR, Chen L, Schrementi ME, Shi J, Marucha PT, Glass K, DiPietro LA. Transcriptional changes in human palate and skin healing. Wound Repair Regen. 2023. 31:156-170. doi: 10.1111/wrr.13068. Epub 2023 Jan 16.; PMCID: PMC10006330

Leonardo TR, Chen L, DiPietro LA. Preparation of a murine oral palate wound healing model. STAR Protocols. 2022. 3:101727. PMCID: PMC9526232.

Barakat M, DiPietro LA, Chen L. Limited treatment options for diabetic wounds: Barriers to clinical translation despite therapeutic success in murine models. Adv Wound Care 2022. 10:436-460. PMCID: PMC8236303.

Xu M, Chen Z, Chen K, Ma D, Chen L, DiPietro LA. Phagocytosis of apoptotic endothelial cells reprograms macrophages in skin wounds.  J Immunol Regen Med 2021.12. PMCID:PMC8009329

Romana-Souza B, Chen L, Leonardo TR, Chen Z, DiPietro LA. Dermal fibroblast phagocytosis of apoptotic cells: A novel pathway for wound resolution.  FASEB J 2021.35, e21443. PMCID: PMC8670562

DiPietro LA, Wilgus TA, Koh TJ. Macrophages in Healing Wounds: Paradoxes and Paradigms.  Int J Mol Sci 2021.22 PMC7833402

Okonkwo UA, Chen L, Ma D, Haywood VA, Barakat M, Urao N, DiPietro LA. Compromised angiogenesis and vascular Integrity in impaired diabetic wound healing.  PLoS One 2020.15, e0231962. PMC7179900

Link to Complete List of Published Work:


  • University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, BS (Biology, James Scholar) 1976 (Visiting student, Imperial College, London, UK,1975-76)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, DDS with honors, 1980
  • Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, IL, Residency in General Dentistry, 1982-83
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, PhD (Microbiology and Immunology), 1989
  • Northwestern University, Chicago IL, (Pathology), Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-92

Professional Memberships

Wound Healing Society
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for Dental Research
North American Vascular Biology Organization

Research Currently in Progress

Our laboratory studies the process of wound healing and tissue regeneration.  Following an injury to the skin or mucosa, appropriate inflammation and the efficient restoration of the epithelial barrier are essential for the prevention of infection and for the survival of the organism. Using multiple model systems, including adult skin, fetal skin, and oral mucosa, our studies define the roles of key cell types in the healing process, and identify the mechanisms that guide tissue growth and remodeling in healing wounds. We also investigate the key regulatory characteristics that distinguish the rapid and scarless wound healing that occurs in oral mucosa from that of skin. Current studies focus on these topics as well as the genomic regulation of wound repair and the development of computational models of wound healing.