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Exploring Microbial Interactions within the Human Oral Cavity

Microbes exist within complex communities, often referred to as a microbiome. The human oral microbiome contains over 700+ species living within different niches of the oral cavity. One of those niches are supragingival biofilms, or microbial biofilms attached to the exposed surfaces of teeth. While several species that live in these communities can promote the host’s oral health, others, such as Streptococcus mutans, convert dietary carbohydrates such as sucrose into an acid that can erode the tooth’s enamel causing tooth decay.

The goal of our research projects are to eliminate disease-associated bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans through microbial ecological engineering — utilizing antagonistic exchanges between microbes to our advantage to specifically target a pathogen of interest, leaving intact health-associated bacteria to promote microbiome homeostasis and the maintenance of the host’s health. 


Kaspar Lab Spring 2024 @ The Ohio State University College of Dentistry Research Day

Top: Left → Right

Allen Choi, Jacob Harris, Jacob Tuckerman, Lindsey Pia, Iris Shin, and Dan Peters

Bottom: Left → Right

Justin Kaspar, Nicole Flemming, Kacee Soehnlen, Emily Williams, Isabella Williams, Sarah Klingerman, and Huizhen Lim

Photo credit: Dr. Kyulim Lee


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Email: kaspar.17@osu.edu


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