"Chunhao Li".

Chunhao Li M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Oral Biology

304b Foster Hall

Buffalo, NY 14214




Spirochetes are a group of medically important but poorly understood bacteria, which can cause numerous human and animal diseases, including syphilis (Treponema), Lyme disease (Borrelia), leptospirosis (Leptospira), human periodontal diseases (oral Treponema species) as well as swine dysentery and human diarrhea (Brachyspira ). The research in Dr Li’s laboratory is centered on understanding the basic biology and pathogenesis of the pathogenic spirochetes, including the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and the oral spirochete Treponma denticola, by using a genetic, biochemical, genomic, proteomic and animal model approach. His current research efforts are directed to the following specific projects: 

  1. To elucidate the unique complex structure of periplasmic flagella (PF) of spirochetes by using the spirochete Brachyspira hyodysenteriae as a genetic model. 
  2. To understand the molecular mechanisms of motility and chemotaxis of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. 
  3. To determine the roles of motility and chemotaxis in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease.  
  4. To determine the roles of bacterial two-component signaling pathways and small signaling molecules such as c-di-GMP in the biology and pathogenesis of the spirochetes, including Treponema denticola and Borrelia burgdorferi.