Oral Health Sciences

The Department of Oral Health Sciences was established in 2008 to unify the development of oral-related research in the College of Dental Medicine. Department of Oral Health Sciences research and educational activities are fully integrated with the multi- and interdisciplinary research community of the Medical University of South Carolina which includes the Colleges of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Nursing. 

The department's activities are further integrated with graduate training programs provided by the College of Graduate Studies and administered through The Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology Program.

All members of the Department of Oral Health Sciences have joint appointments in the basic science departments of the College of Medicine and/or the Department of Bioengineering with Clemson University. Most members of the department are members of the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The research foci within the department includes:

  • Molecular and cellular biology of periodontal inflammation and disease progression.
  • Head and neck cancer biology and therapeutics with a focus on RNA silencing.   
  • Bioengineering/Biomechanics of temporomandibular joint and craniofacial regeneration with emphasis on dentin regeneration.
  • Opportunistic oral bacteria and their mechanisms of colonization in oral mucosa.
  • Periodontal pathogens and their molecular associations with chronic diseases.
  • Commensal microbiota impact on osteoimmunology and skeletal metabolism.


Ozlem Yilmaz, D.D.S., Ph.D., Professor and Chair

Andrew Jakymiw, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Chad Novince, D.D.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor

Subramanya Pandruvada, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Caroline Westwater, Ph.D., Professor

Hai Yao, Ph.D., Professor 

Hong Yu, M.D., Research Associate Professor