Robert J. Genco PhD, DDS

Department of Oral Biology

Vice Provost, STOR, Distinguished Professor of Oral Bio., Perio., Micro.

Specialty/Research Focus

Implant Dentistry; Oral Biology; Periodontics

Faculty Research Profile

 

Professional Summary:

Research is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of virulence of mucosal pathogens. Adherence is a critical first step in the pathogenesis of mucosal diseases, as it is important in interactions with mammalian cells, they can activate macrophages and play a role in invasion of epithelial cells. The molecular basis of adherence and fimbrial and nonfimbrial-associated adhesins are investigated. Adhesin for binding of pathogenic bacteria to mucous-covered surfaces have been studied at the molecular level. Studies of fimbrial adhesins of P. gingivalis have shown that protein interactions with salivary components are critical. Investigation of binding domains of fimbrial adhesin-associated proteins, their synthesis, and assembly, and expression of this organelle are among our current projects. We are exploring the immunogenicity of adhesins as well, using synthetic peptides in order to evaluate their usefulness as vaccines. Studies of S. gordonii as a vector for these vaccines is proceeding through genetic engineering of strains and testing in animal and human studies. Infections and Chronic Diseases. We are studying the systemic factors which alter the risk for periodontal disease, one of the most common infections of humans. Diabetes mellitus, osteopenia, stress and inadequate coping and smoking are conditions which increase susceptibility to periodontal infections. More recently, we have studied the effect of periodontal infections as they increase the risk for heart disease including myocardial infarction; and decreased glycemic control in diabetics. In vitro studies of molecular and cellular mechanisms, animal models and human epidemiologic studies, as well as randomized clinical trials are all underway to study the interdependence of periodontal infections and heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Education and Training:

  • BS, Canisius College (2004)
  • PhD, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School (1967)
  • Cert, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine (1967)
  • DDS, DDS, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dentistry (1963)
  • Student, Biology Major, Canisius College (1959)

Employment:

  • Vice Provost, Science, Technology Transfer, and Economic Outreach (STOR) (2002-present)
  • SUNY Distinguished Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1994-present)
  • Distinguished Professor, Oral Biology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1990-present)
  • Director, Oral Biology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1978-present)
  • Visiting Professor of Medicine, Medicine, Harvard University (2007-2009)

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  • Interim Vice President for Research, State University of New York at Buffalo (2004-2005)
  • Interim Provost, State University of New York at Buffalo (2004)
  • Associate Dean, State University of New York at Buffalo (1993-1998)
  • Interim Chair, Microbiology and Immunology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1990-1991)
  • Associate Dean, State University of New York at Buffalo (1985-1993)
  • Chair, Oral Biology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1977-2002)
  • Professor of Oral Biology and Periodontology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1974-1989)
  • Director, Fellowship Program In Immunology and Periodontology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1974-2002)
  • Associate Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo (1969-1974)
  • Staff Member, Buffalo General Hospital (1969-2003)
  • Director of Graduate Periodontology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1968-1985)
  • Coordinator of Continuing Education Program in Periodontology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1968-1974)
  • Assistant Professor of Oral Biology and Periodontology, State University of New York at Buffalo (1967-1969)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania (1963-1967)

Awards and Honors:

  • SUNY Research Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award (2008)
  • Excellence in the Pursuit of Knowledge Award, SUNY Research Foundation (2004)
  • American Dental Association Norton Ross Award (2003)
  • American Dental Education Association, Presidential Citation (2002)
  • William J. Gies Foundation Award, American Dental Association (2002)

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  • Award for Technology/Discovery, Health Care Industries Association (1999)
  • Stockton-Kimball Award, SUNY at Buffalo (1995)
  • Isadore Hirschfeld Award, Northeastern Society of Periodontists (1995)
  • American Academy of Periodontology Gold Medal (1993)
  • American Dental Association Gold Medal for Excellence in Dental Research (1991)
  • Samuel P. Capen Alumni Award (1990)
  • Doctor of Science, Honorias Causa, Georgetown University (1990)
  • Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (1988)
  • Seymour J. Kreshover Lecture (1985)
  • Alumni Honor Award, UB Dental Alumni Association (1984)
  • National Columbus Day Committee, Research Scientist Award (1984)
  • Research in Periodontal Disease Award (1981)
  • George Thorn Award (1977)
  • Basic Research in Oral Science Award (1975)
  • Omicron Kappa Upsilon; D.D.S., cum laude (1963)
  • Alpha Omega Award (1962)
  • New York State Regents Scholarship for Dental School (1959)
  • New York State Regents College Scholarship (1956)

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