Our laboratory is exploring the potential of novel methods of growth factor delivery such as gene therapy to stimulate periodontal tissue repair.

William Giannobile, DDS, MS, DMSc


Our laboratory’s main goal is to explore the potential of novel methods for growth factor delivery, such as gene therapy, for restoring periodontal tissue lost due to oral disease. Working with investigators at the College of Engineering, we are able to immobilize PDGF and BMP adenoviral vectors onto various biomaterials for soft tissue and bone regeneration in vivo.

We also are investigating ways to improve outcomes for patients with implants. In addition to our studies examining increased implant osseointegration, we are researching new methods to incorporate periodontal ligament with alveolar bone and titanium.

Finally, the lab has been involved in clinical research studies that analyze oral fluids (whole saliva, crevicular fluid) in order to identify predictive markers of gingivitis, periodontal disease progression and peri-implant bone loss. By combining the levels of specific biomarkers together with the expression levels of certain bacteria within patient plaque samples, we are able to better determine the patient’s disease status resulting in a more effective treatment plan.


William V. Giannobile, DDS, MS, DMSc
Najjar Endowed Professor of Dentistry and Biomedical Engineering
Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine
University of Michigan School of Dentistry
1011 N. University Ave, Rm #3397
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078
734-763-2105 wgiannob@umich.edu

Dr. Giannobile is the Najjar Endowed Professor of Dentistry and Biomedical Engineering and Chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the School of Dentistry. He received his DDS and an MS in Oral Biology from the University of Missouri. He later received his certificate in Periodontology and Doctor of Medical Science in Oral Biology from Harvard University. He subsequently completed postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Giannobile previously served as a faculty member at Harvard and Forsyth Institute in Boston. He has published and lectured extensively in the fields of Regenerative Medicine, Tissue Engineering, and Salivary Diagnostics as it relates to periodontal and peri-implant reconstruction.

Dr. Giannobile is an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dental Research and is on the editorial boards of multiple journals. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. Dr. Giannobile currently serves as president of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation.

Dr. Giannobile also serves as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health. To read more about Dr. Giannobile as an NIDCR investigator, please visit the NIDCR website for an article on the future impact of research on periodontal disease.


The most recent 20 publications are reported below via PubMed search.

To see all PubMed results go to this complete listing of publications by Dr. Giannobile.

Non-invasive evaluation of facial crestal bone with ultrasonography.

Non-invasive evaluation of facial crestal bone with ultrasonography.

PLoS One. 2017;12(2):e0171237

Authors: Chan HL, Sinjab K, Chung MP, Chiang YC, Wang HL, Giannobile WV, Kripfgans OD

PURPOSE: Facial crestal bone level and dimension determine function and esthetics of dentition and dental implants. We have previously demonstrated that ultrasound can identify bony and soft tissue structures in the oral cavity. The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of using ultrasound to measure facial crestal bone level and thickness.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A commercially available medical ultrasound scanner, paired with a 14 MHz imaging probe was used to scan dental and periodontal tissues at the mid-facial site of each tooth on 6 fresh cadavers. The alveolar crest level in relation to the cemento-enamel junction and its thickness on ultrasound images were measured and compared to those on cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans and/or direct measurements on a total of 144 teeth.
RESULTS: The mean crestal bone level measured by means of ultrasound, CBCT and direct measures was 2.66 ± 0.86 mm, 2.51 ± 0.82 mm, and 2.71 ± 1.04 mm, respectively. The mean crestal bone thickness was 0.71 ± 0.44 mm and 0.74 ± 0.34 mm, measured by means of ultrasound and CBCT, respectively. The correlations of the ultrasound readings to the other two methods were between 0.78 and 0.88. The mean absolute differences in crestal bone height and thickness between ultrasound and CBCT were 0.09 mm (-1.20 to 1.00 mm, p = 0.06) and 0.03 mm (-0.48 to 0.54 mm, p = 0.03), respectively.
CONCLUSION: Ultrasound was as accurate in determining alveolar bone level and its thickness as CBCT and direct measurements. Clinical trials will be required to further validate this non-ionizing and non-invasive method for determining facial crestal bone position and dimension.

PMID: 28178323 [PubMed - in process]

Digital Version

News & Media

Dr. Giannobile and Dr. Kohn receive grant for new regenerative medicine center: M-Dentistry News

Dr. Giannobile helps pioneer new approach to dental care: M-Dentistry News

DentNEWS: Dr. Giannobile named new JDR editor-in-chief

Gene therapy to treat gum disease: U-M News Service

The future of periodontology: An interview with Dr. William Giannobile and Dr. Pamela Robey

Growth rate of replacement blood vessels, tissues: U-M News Service

Gene therapy promising for growing tooth-supporting bone: U-M News Service

Current Members

William V. Giannobile, DDS, DMSc

Najjar Endowed Professor of Dentistry and Biomedical Engineering
Chair, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine


Jim Sugai

Research Laboratory Specialist Senior jsugai@umich.edu

Sophia Pilipchuk

PhD Graduate Student

Dr. Lena Larsson

Visiting Scholar

Ning Yu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Richard Miron

ITI Scholar

Erin Shan Huey Yu

Periodontics MS student

Nolan Kavanagh

Undergraduate student

Jeff CW Wang

Clinical Assistant Professor

Tobias Fretwurst

Osteology Foundation Fellow

Jonathan Oh

Undergraduate Student

Qiming Jin

Clinical Assistant Professor

Jinping Xu

Research Specialist


Dr. Salvatore Batia

Dr. Po Chun Chang

Dr. Jong-Hyuk Chung
Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea

Dr. Joni Cirelli

Dr. Roberto Farina

Dr. Lukas Furhauser

Dr. Reinhard Gruber

Jie Hao

Qiming Jin

Laura Kruger

Dr. Zhao Lin

Julie Marchesan

Alberto Monje

Dr. Andrea Ottonello

Dr. Chan Ho Park

Dr. Gaia Pelligrini

Alexandra Plonka

Angeliki Polymeri

Dr. Christoph Ramsier

Dr. Stefan Schroeckmair, Bernhard Gottlieb University Clinic of Dentistry, Vienna, Austria

Seung-Yun Shin 

Dr. Mario Taba, Jr.

Dr. Valeria Tedeschi

Dr. Kemal Ustun

Dr. Christian Wehner, Bernhard Gottlieb University Clinic of Dentistry, Vienna, Austria

Dr. Andreas Weisbauer

Dr. Yang-Jo Seol


Giannobile Lab

University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Department of Periodontics & Oral Medicine
Room 3310-O Dental Building
1011 N. University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: 734-615-2467
Fax: 734-763-5503