The Simmer Hu laboratory studies tooth development, focusing on the human genetics of developmental anomalies of the dentition and using mouse models to understand how proteins encoded by genes function during normal tooth development and how their mutations lead to failures in such process.
The Simmer Hu lab played important parts in the first cloning of cDNA encoding enamelin (Enam), matrix metallowproteinase 20 (Mmp20) and kallikrein 4 (Klk4), and in the initial discoveries that MMP20, ITGB6 and FAM83H defects cause isolated amelogenesis imperfecta and that defects in FAM20A cause Enamel Renal Syndrome. These studies have greatly advanced our understanding of normal tooth development and associated disorders, leading to improvements in their diagnosis, prognosis and intervention.
Professor, Biologic and Materials Sciences/Prosthodontics
University of Michigan School of Dentistry
1210 Eisenhower Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: (734) 764-4676
Dr. Simmer is Professor in the Department of Biologic and Material Sciences. He received his DDS degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1980, and received his PhD in Biochemistry from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1990. He also did post-doctoral training with Dr. Hal Slavkin, at the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology in the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles, California. Before coming to Michigan, Dr. Simmer was an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Dr. Simmer possesses excellent research and teaching credentials. His research interests are in the area of tooth development, enamel and dentin formation, biochemistry and molecular biology of amelogenins, and hypophosphatasia and amelogenesis imperfecta.
Samuel D. Harris Collegiate Professor of Dentistry
Director, Oral Health Sciences PhD Program
University of Michigan School of Dentistry
1011 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: (734) 763-6769
Dr. Hu completed her Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from National Taiwan University in 1985. She earned a specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry and a PhD in craniofacial biology (1990) at the University of Southern California, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in craniofacial molecular biology and held the position of clinical assistant professor. In 1993, she joined the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio where she was promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure in 1999.
Dr. Hu joined the U-M School of Dentistry in 2002 as an associate professor with tenure. In 2005 she was named the director of pediatric dentistry and in 2006 was promoted to full professor. She directs the Oral Health Sciences PhD program since November 2010. Dr. Hu’s research concentrates on tooth development and dental genetics; her clinical research interests focus on pulp biology and therapy.
The most recent publications are reported below via Scopus search. View the complete list of publications of Dr. James Simmer and Dr. Jan Hu
Lori graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology with Highest Distinction and High Honors from the University of Michigan in 2014. Lori’s research concentrates on improving the accuracy of SMRT sequencing of the highly repetitive coding sequence of human dentin sialophosphoprotein and the design of a mouse model containing a human DSPP mutation. Lori is a recipient of the 2015 AADR Student Research Fellowship.
Amelia graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Eastern Michigan University in 2008. She joined our lab in 2009. Her outstanding contributions in animal management, tissue dissection, immunohistochemistry and various microscopy projects resulted in 17 peer-reviewed publications from 2010-2015.
Curtis graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biomolecular Science from the University of Michigan in 2015. As an undergraduate student, he conducted target gene mutational analysis on families with oligodontia and amelogenesis imperfecta. Curtis discovered a novel mutation of SLC24A4, a sodium potassium transporter, resulted in human hypomaturation amelogenesis imperfect.