Research Summary

Yvonne Kapila is a clinician scientist with over 20 years of experience studying the basic mechanisms and translational and clinical aspects of periodontal disease pathogenesis and head and neck cancer carcinogenesis using in vitro and in vivo models and human clinical studies. Her early research focused on understanding the basic extracellular matrix (ECM) processes and host-microbial mechanisms that govern head and neck cancer tumorigenesis and periodontal disease pathogenesis. Kapila made important discoveries focused on the cell and molecular biology mechanisms that regulate anoikis; programmed cell death or apoptosis triggered by loss of extracellular matrix contacts. Kapila's recent research has extended to omics approaches and biomarker discovery for head and neck cancer using metabolomic and microbiome approaches. Her related work in sirtuin biology and oral cancer were seminal in showing that sirtuin 3, a metabolic enzyme, regulates and promotes oral cancer tumorigenesis. Recently funded projects in her lab have focused on host-microbial interactions and the novel role of bacteriocins in biomedical applications, including as modulators of tumorigenesis and disease-associated biofilms and the oral microbiome.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2015 - May 31, 2020 - Oral Treponema Surface Proteins: Host Cell Interactions, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: R01DE025225
  • September 25, 2013 - August 31, 2015 - Biomarkers of Aggressive Oral Cancer, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: R56DE023333
  • December 1, 2001 - April 30, 2012 - Fibronectin Regulation of Anoikis, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: R56DE014429
  • April 1, 2000 - September 30, 2011 - Apoptosis Regulated by Fibronectin Signaling Pathways, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR, Sponsor Award ID: R01DE013725


Stanford University, BA, 1986, Human Biology
University of California, San Francisco, DDS, BS, 1990, Dentistry
University of California, San Francisco, Certificate, 1994, Periodontology
University of California, San Francisco, PhD, 1997, Oral Biology
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoc, 1997-1998, Cell Biology

Honors & Awards

  • 2000
    UCSF Faculty Development Award
  • 2000
    American Dental Association Health Foundation New Dentist Scientist Award
  • 2000
    UCSF Dean’s Creativity Fund Award
  • 2002
    UCSF Hellman Family Award for Early Career Faculty
  • 2002
    Oral-B/Robert W. Hutson Faculty Prize in Periodontology
  • 2013
    International College of Dentists, Inducted as Fellow
  • 2014
    IADR/GSK Innovation in Oral Care Award
  • 2015
    UM MICHR Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Award
  • 2016
    UCSF Chancellor’s Mid-Career Faculty Award
  • 2017
    AAP Sunstar Innovation Research Award
  • 2017
    ELAM Fellow

Selected Publications

  1. Ganther S, Radaic A, Malone E, Kamarajan P, Chang NN, Tafolla C, Zhan L, Fenno JC, Kapila YL. Treponema denticola dentilisin triggered TLR2/MyD88 activation upregulates a tissue destructive program involving MMPs via Sp1 in human oral cells. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Jul 13; 17(7):e1009311.  View on PubMed
  2. Malone ET, Ganther S, Mena N, Radaic A, Shariati K, Kindberg A, Tafolla C, Kamarajan P, Fenno JC, Zhan L, Kapila YL. Treponema denticola-Induced RASA4 Upregulation Mediates Cytoskeletal Dysfunction and MMP-2 Activity in Periodontal Fibroblasts. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021; 11:671968.  View on PubMed
  3. Nguyen T, Lee KJ, Chen JL, Xenoudi P, Kapila YL, Kao RT, Lin GH. Therapeutic Prognosis System for Root Coverage Procedures. Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent. 2021 May-Jun; 41(3):383-389.  View on PubMed
  4. Radaic A, Kapila YL. The oralome and its dysbiosis: New insights into oral microbiome-host interactions. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2021; 19:1335-1360.  View on PubMed
  5. Kotronia E, Wannamethee SG, Papacosta AO, Whincup PH, Lennon LT, Visser M, Kapila YL, Weyant RJ, Ramsay SE. Poor Oral Health and Inflammatory, Hemostatic, and Cardiac Biomarkers in Older Age: Results From Two Studies in the UK and USA. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 Jan 18; 76(2):346-351.  View on PubMed
  6. Kuraji R, Wu YH, Hashimoto S, Miyashita Y, Mishiro S, Ito H, Kamarajan P, Kapila Y, Numabe Y. Periodontal inflammation triggers a site-specific and wide radius of calcium metabolic effects on alveolar bone. J Periodontal Res. 2021 Apr; 56(2):314-329.  View on PubMed
  7. Nguyen L, Krish G, Alsaleh A, Mailoa J, Kapila Y, Kao RT, Lin GH. Analyzing the predictability of the Kwok and Caton periodontal prognosis system: A retrospective study. J Periodontol. 2021 May; 92(5):662-669.  View on PubMed
  8. Kamarajan P, Ateia I, Shin JM, Fenno JC, Le C, Zhan L, Chang A, Darveau R, Kapila YL. Periodontal pathogens promote cancer aggressivity via TLR/MyD88 triggered activation of Integrin/FAK signaling that is therapeutically reversible by a probiotic bacteriocin. PLoS Pathog. 2020 10; 16(10):e1008881.  View on PubMed
  9. Ye C, Xia Z, Tang J, Khemwong T, Kapila Y, Kuraji R, Huang P, Wu Y, Kobayashi H. Unculturable and culturable periodontal-related bacteria are associated with periodontal inflammation during pregnancy and with preterm low birth weight delivery. Sci Rep. 2020 09 25; 10(1):15807.  View on PubMed
  10. Radaic A, Ye C, Parks B, Gao L, Kuraji R, Malone E, Kamarajan P, Zhan L, Kapila YL. Modulation of pathogenic oral biofilms towards health with nisin probiotic. J Oral Microbiol. 2020 Aug 24; 12(1):1809302.  View on PubMed
  11. Kashani H, Vora MV, Kuraji R, Brody H, Kapila YL. Rebuilding the Interproximal Papilla: Description of "Tube" Technique and Two Case Reports. Clin Adv Periodontics. 2021 03; 11(1):17-21.  View on PubMed
  12. Aral CA, Ölçer SN, Aral K, Kapila Y. Oxidative stress, neutrophil elastase and IGFBP7 levels in patients with oropharyngeal cancer and chronic periodontitis. Oral Dis. 2020 Oct; 26(7):1393-1401.  View on PubMed
  13. Brun A, Rangé H, Prouvost B, Mazighi M, Kapila Y, Bouchard P, Michel JB. Innovative application of nested PCR for detection of Porphyromonas gingivalis in human highly calcified atherothrombotic plaques. J Oral Microbiol. 2020; 12(1):1742523.  View on PubMed
  14. Gao L, Kang M, Zhang MJ, Reza Sailani M, Kuraji R, Martinez A, Ye C, Kamarajan P, Le C, Zhan L, Rangé H, Ho SP, Kapila YL. Polymicrobial periodontal disease triggers a wide radius of effect and unique virome. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 2020 03 10; 6(1):10.  View on PubMed
  15. Kuraji R, Wu YH, Hashimoto S, Mishiro S, Maeda Y, Miyashita Y, Ito H, Miwa Y, Sunohara M, Kapila Y, Numabe Y. Temporal and dynamic changes in gingival blood flow during progression of ligature-induced periodontitis. Oral Dis. 2020 Mar 10.  View on PubMed
  16. Radaic A, de Jesus MB, Kapila YL. Bacterial anti-microbial peptides and nano-sized drug delivery systems: The state of the art toward improved bacteriocins. J Control Release. 2020 05 10; 321:100-118.  View on PubMed
  17. Nguyen T, Sedghi L, Ganther S, Malone E, Kamarajan P, Kapila YL. Host-microbe interactions: Profiles in the transcriptome, the proteome, and the metabolome. Periodontol 2000. 2020 02; 82(1):115-128.  View on PubMed
  18. Nguyen T, Brody H, Lin GH, Rangé H, Kuraji R, Ye C, Kamarajan P, Radaic A, Gao L, Kapila Y. Probiotics, including nisin-based probiotics, improve clinical and microbial outcomes relevant to oral and systemic diseases. Periodontol 2000. 2020 02; 82(1):173-185.  View on PubMed
  19. Aral K, Milward MR, Kapila Y, Berdeli A, Cooper PR. Inflammasomes and their regulation in periodontal disease: A review. J Periodontal Res. 2020 Aug; 55(4):473-487.  View on PubMed
  20. Boillot A, Ringuenet D, Kapila Y, Pallier A, Colon P, Bouchard P, Rangé H. High serum ferritin levels are associated with a reduced periodontium in women with anorexia nervosa. Eat Weight Disord. 2020 Dec; 25(6):1763-1770.  View on PubMed

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