Stefan Habelitz, PhD

Professor
Preventive & Restor Dent Sci

Stefan Habelitz is a Materials Scientist and Chemist and Associate Professor at the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the School of Dentistry at UCSF. His research focuses on understanding how matrix proteins control mineralization in enamel and dentin. Current approaches include:

  1. Remineralization of Dentin Caries Lesions: Anionic polymers, like Poly-Aspartic Acid, are used to induce intrafibrillar mineral within collagen fibrils. This project attempts to recover lost dental tissue function by a mineralization process, (see, Burwell et al. PLOS-One 2011).
  2. Mimicking Enamel Formation In-Vitro: Our recent studies in the lab have shown that amelogenin can self-assemble into ribbons which self-align and form an organic matrix mimicking the organization of apatite nanofibers in dental enamel. In this project we attempt to induce apatite crystallization on amelogenin templates to obtain materials similar to enamel (Martinez-Avila et al., Biomacromolecules 2012).
  3. Micropatterned Porous Membranes for Dental Tissue Synthesis: In this project we designed a variety of porous membranes that enable the precise positioning of cells thus facilitating cellular organization similar to odontoblasts at the pulpal wall. We study the potential of these membranes for in-vitro synthesis of dentin and enamel using dental stem cells, embryonic stem cell and iPS cells.
Education and Training
  • University of California, San Francisco
    Postdoctoral Studies
    School of Dentistry
    2001
  • Friedrich Schiller University - Jena Germany
    PhD
    Chemistry
    1998
  • Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nurnberg
    Master and Bachelor of Science
    Materials Engineering
    1994
Awards and Honors
  • NIH/NIDCR
    2016
    2021
    R01-DE25709 Amyloids in Enamel Development
    R01-DE25709 Amyloids in Enamel Development, NIH/NIDCR, 2016-2021
  • NIH/NIDCR
    2013
    2015
    R21-DE023422 A New Concept of Amelogenin-Guided Mineralization in Enamel
    R21-DE023422 A New Concept of Amelogenin-Guided Mineralization in Enamel, NIH/NIDCR, 2013-2015
  • NIH/NIDCR
    2012
    2017
    RO1-DE16849 Dentin Structure, Demineralization and Remineralization
    RO1-DE16849 Dentin Structure, Demineralization and Remineralization, NIH/NIDCR, 2012-2017
  • NIH/NIDCR
    2012
    2014
    R21DE022634 Mimicking the Dentin-Pulp Complex In-Vitro
    R21DE022634 Mimicking the Dentin-Pulp Complex In-Vitro, NIH/NIDCR, 2012-2014
  • NIH/NIDCR
    2010
    2015
    RO1 DE 015821 Amelogenin degradation by MMP-20 in enamel (PI Wu Li)
    RO1 DE 015821 Amelogenin degradation by MMP-20 in enamel (PI Wu Li), NIH/NIDCR, 2010-2015