Sean Ganther

Sean Ganther
DDS/PhD
Entered Program: 2016
Thesis Advisor: Yvonne Kapila, DDS, PhD

Sean Ganther

After graduating from high school, Sean was sure that his career choice in music was what he was destined to do. However, his career trajectory shifted towards the sciences after transferring to California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) where he graduated with his B.A. in Biology and minor in chemistry. Sean began to establish himself as a scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Nicole Bournias-Vardiabasis, whose lab largely focuses on aging and Alzheimer’s disease using Drosophila melanogaster. Through a series of influential experiences, large exposure in the clinic and an innate passion to innovate the dental field, Sean has set his long-term goal of becoming a dental clinician attending the University of California, San Francisco’s Advanced Dual-Degree DDS/Ph.D program. As a graduate student, his motivation is to develop alternative drug and/or gene therapies that focus on patients who suffer from more advanced or chronic forms of periodontal disease (PD), ~8.5% of the U.S. population. These patients do not respond to conventional treatment methods compared to patients who present with more moderate forms of the disease, largely due to a pro-inflammatory transcriptional profile which is driven by oral pathogens such as the gram- negative spirochete, Treponema denticola. He is particularly interested in better understanding oral microbial-host interactions and how these interactions lead to the progression of oral pathogenesis through the modulation of cellular and tissue processes at the transcriptional level. Thus, by investigating into the cell populations, pathways, and gene regulatory network involved in periodontal pathogenesis, he strives to develop the most efficacious strategies for better patient outcome. As a dental clinician, he hopes to make molecular connections underpinning similar chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis and gut dysbiosis, in an effort to bridge the gap between oral pathology and systemic health.