Alexandra Rogers-DeCotes

Alexandra “Alex” Rogers-DeCotes

Entered Dual-Degree program: June 2014

Biography: Alex graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  Alex joined the DSTP with nearly 3000 hrs of research and a stellar academic record. Alex was instrumental in initiating her dissertation project as a new venture in the lab of her mentor. The lab she joined was noted for cardiovascular developmental biology and had some very unique mouse genetic models for examining developmental consequence of specific proteases. During her lab rotation she identified that the TMJ was affected by the loss of one of these proteases and she developed it into a full dissertation project. Her research involved an examination of the generation and maintenance of the ECM of the Temporomandibular joint. Her focus has been the ADAMTS-5 and ADAMTS-9 proteases which cleave aggrecan and versican in the ECM.  Her work, using null mice for both genes, has resulted in a paradigm shift from looking at these proteases as harbingers and hallmarks of disease, to now understanding their critical function and necessity in normal development and homeostasis of the fibrocartilage and chondrocytes of the TMJ.  She has published data that supports a model that changes in the cartilage development and homeostasis also impacts subchondral bone development. This work is particularly significant since TMJ disorders affect over 20 million Americans with cartilaginous ECM changes and osteoarthritis being of primary importance.

Alex is passionate about advocating for dental research; contacting her South Carolina and national representatives on a routine basis.  That is why she was so excited to receive the Gert Quigley AADR fellowship the past 2 years to formalize and expand her advocacy.  In her free time Alex enjoys going to the beach and traveling with her husband and family. She is an aspiring gardener and plant enthusiast. 

Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Christine Kern

Peer-reviewed Publications:

  1. Rogers A, Cisewski SE and Kern CB. 2018. The zonal architecture of the mandibular condyle requires ADAMTS5. Journal of Dental Research 97(12):1383-1390. PMCID: PMC6199677.
  2. Rogers-DeCotes A, Porto, S, Dupuis L and Kern C. ADAMTS5 is required for trabeculated bone development in the mandibular condyle. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (in Press)


  • F30 (DE028180) initiated 7-1-2018
  • 2016 Awarded an AADR Student Research Fellowship
  • 2016 and 2019 2nd in the PhD Posters at the Perry V. Halushka MUSC Student Research Day
  • 2017 Sarnat award poster competition of the Craniofacial Biology section at the IADR meeting.
  • 2018 AADR Hatton Competition AADR/CADR Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 2019 IADR Hatton Competition IADR Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 2019 AADR NSRG 411 1st Place Student Research Competition in Vancouver, BC, Canada 2019 AADR Bloc Travel Grant Recipient
  • 2020 2nd Place in the PhD Posters at the MUSC College of Dental Medicine Scholar’s Day
  • 2019-2021 Gert Quigley fellowship award to AADR