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 About Oral BiologyNew Home     November 24, 2014  

Michelle Visser  PhD

Department of Oral Biology

Assistant Professor

Specialty/Research Focus

Microbiology; Oral Biology

Faculty Research Profile

 
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Education and Training:
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology immunology, University of Toronto (2013)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology cell biology, University of Toronto (2012)
  • PhD, Veterinary Science, University of Queensland (2009)
  • BS, Biological Sciences, University of Calgary (1998)
Employment:
  • Assistant Professor, Oral Biology, University at Buffalo (2013-present)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Matrix Dynamics Group, University of Toronto (2012-2013)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Oral Microbiology, University of Toronto (2008-2012)
  • Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary (1999-2005)
Awards and Honors:
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012)
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research, Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Travel Award (2011)
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research, Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Travel Award (2010)
  • Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation of Australia Travel Grant (2008)
  • Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2005)
  • University of Queensland International Living Allowance Scholarship (2005)

Research Expertise:
  • Microbiology
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • Mechanisms of neutrophil impairment by Treponema denticola
    NIDCR
    Role: Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:
See All (17 Total) >

Professional Memberships:
  • ASM WNY branch (2013)
  • American Association for Dental research (2013)
  • Canadian Association for Dental Research (2013)
  • International Association for Dental Research (2013)
  • American Society for Microbiology (2010)
  • American Society for Cell Biology (2009)
Presentations:
  • Oral Spirochetes…. Surviving the Immune system, AADR Buffalo Section Lunch and Learn, University at Buffalo (2014)
  • Oral spirochetes and innate immune interactions in periodontal disease, Invited Seminar Series, University of Manitoba (2013)
  • Neutrophil chemotaxis regulatory pathways perturbed by the major outer sheath protein of Treponema denticola, SickKids-McMaster University-University of Toronto Research Day (2013)
  • Development of oral microbe-induced periodontitis and fluorescent Treponema denticola., U of T Faculty of Dentistry Annual Research Day., University of Toronto (2013)
  • Oral spirochetes and innate immune interactions in periodontal disease, Invited Seminar Series, University of Louisville (2013)
  • Oral spirochetes and innate immune interactions in periodontal disease, Invited seminar series, University at Buffalo (2012)
  • Mechanisms of innate immunity evasion by oral spirochetes in periodontal disease, Invited seminar series, University of the Pacific (2012)
  • Treponema denticola Msp activates lipid phosphatase and actin-uncapping, inhibits PMN-chemotaxis., International Association for Dental Research General Session, International Association for Dental Research (2012)
  • The involvement of lipid phosphatase activation in perturbation of neutrophil functions by the major outer sheath protein of Treponema denticola, Gordon Research Conference on Biology of Spirochetes, Gordon Research Conferences (2012)
  • Development of oral microbe-induced periodontitis mouse model and fluorescent Treponema denticola for future investigations using intravital microscopy., Farncombe/Toronto Research Day (2011)
  • The major outer sheath protein of Treponema denticola induces actin filament assembly by a PIP-2 dependent uncapping mechanism in fibroblasts, U of T Infectious Diseases/Microbiology Research Day, University of Toronto (2011)
  • The major outer sheath protein of Treponema denticola induces actin filament assembly by a PIP-2 dependent uncapping mechanism in fibroblasts, ASM General meeting, American Society of Microbiology (2011)
  • The major outer sheath protein of Treponema denticola induces actin filament assembly by a PIP-2 dependent uncapping mechanism in fibroblasts, UofT Faculty of Dentistry Research Day, University of Toronto (2011)
  • Impact of Treponema denticola major outer sheath protein (Msp) on small GTPase associated signaling pathways in fibroblasts, Canadian Connective Tissue Conference, Canadian Connective Tissue Society (2010)
  • Microbiology and cell biology of spirochete - host cell interactions, Invited Seminar Series, University of Toronto (2010)
  • Treponema denticola major outer sheath protein (Msp) impacts small GTPase signalling pathways differently in fibroblasts and neutrophils, University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry Research Day, University of Toronto (2010)
  • Treponema denticola major outer sheath protein (Msp) inhibits Akt activation without affecting the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in neutrophils, Gordon Research Conference on Biology of Spirochetes, Gordon Research Conferences (2010)
  • Leukocyte infiltration and the role of IL-6 during the development of oligofructose induced laminitis., AAEP Equine Laminitis Research Workshop, American Association of Equine Practitioners (2009)
  • Temporal changes in basement membrane proteolysis and protease expression during laminitis development, AAEP Equine Laminitis Research Workshop, American Association of Equine Practitioners (2009)
  • Investigation of the signaling pathways involved in the perturbation of neutrophil chemotaxis and actin dynamics by Treponema denticola, University of Toronto Infectious Diseases/Microbiology Research Day, University of Toronto (2009)
  • Temporal changes in the expression of basement membrane components and matrix metalloproteases during the development of equine laminitis., Gordon Research Conference on Basement Membranes, Gordon Research Conferences (2008)
  • Degradation of basement membrane components occur prior to changes in the expression of matrix metalloproteases during the development of equine laminitis., Australian Equine Science Symposium (2008)
  • Distribution of Laminin 5 in equine tissues and a potential linking factor in laminitis, Faculty of Natural resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science Research Conference, University of Queensland (2005)
  • A Sensitive Luminescence Reporter System for Detection of N-acylhomoserine Lactones in Tissue and Clinical Samples., ASM Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria, American Society of Microbiology (2004)
  • Identification of CepR Regulated Genes using the cep Box Consensus Sequence to Search the Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 Genome, ASM Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria, American Society of Microbiology (2004)
  • The CepIR quorum sensing system contributes to virulence in Burkholderia cepacia respiratory infections., Eighth Meeting of the International Burkholderia cepacia Working Group (2003)
  • The importance of the ornibactin and pyochelin siderophore transport systems in Burkholderia cenocepacia lung infections., ASM Northwest Branch Meeting, American Society of Microbiology (2003)
  • N-acyl homoserine lactone mediated interspecies communication between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia, ASM Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria, American Society of Microbiology (2001)
  • N-acyl homoserine lactone mediated interspecies communication between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia, ASM Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria, American Society of Microbiology (2001)
  • Complex regulation of a potential antibacterial target, the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Tol-OprL cluster., Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network Annual General Meeting, Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network (2000)
See All (30 Total) >
Service Activities:
  • School of Dental Medicine Infection Control/Biohazard Committee; Member (2014)
  • School of Dental Medicine Graduate Committee, Thesis, Oral Biology; Member (2014)
  • School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Admissions Committee; Member (2014)
  • School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Admissions Committee; Alternate Member (2013-2014)

  • UB Postdoctoral Research Symposium Judge; Judge (2014-2014)
  • UB School of Dental Medicine Research Day Poster Judge; Judge (2014-2014)
  • Journal Review; Invited to review manuscripts for the International Journal of Oral Science, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Canadian Journal of Microbiology, The Equine Veterinary Journal, PLos ONE, Microbial cell factories, Archives of Oral Biology, Stem Cell and Development; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2011)

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Contact Information

Oral Biology
3435 Main Street
Foster Hall 320A
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: 716-829-3943
Fax:
Email: mbvisser@buffalo.edu


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Visser, Michelle B. Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Biology

Address:
320 Foster Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214
(716)829-3943
mbvisser@buffalo.edu

Research Profile

The oral cavity is a unique environment, with large numbers of bacteria present as a polymicrobial biofilm in close contact with host tissues including epithelial cells, connective cells and underlying immune cells. One group of bacteria associated with this biofilm are oral spirochetes, such as Treponema denticola. One area of research in my laboratory focuses on determining how T. denticola and other spirochetes remain “under the radar” to evade the normally protective neutrophil response and impair associated key cellular processes such as directed cell migration (chemotaxis) and actin dynamics.

Projects ongoing include:
1. Investigation of how the major outer sheath protein (Msp) of T. denticola modulates host cell lipid signalling molecules called phosphoinositides, resulting in impaired cell migration and actin-remodelling.

2. Using global approaches including microarray and proteomics to:
a. Identify additional spirochete virulence factors that modulate neutrophil function.
b. Identify neutrophil pathways impacted by exposure to oral pathogens.

Additionally, my laboratory is interested in investigating microbial pathogenesis mechanisms allowing for bacteria to survive and cause disease and related tissue damage. Specific areas of research are:
1. Iron transport and regulation in oral bacteria.
2. Bacterial cell communication and signaling systems.