Chukkapalli earned his bachelor’s in microbiology and biochemistry from Nagarjuna University in Guntur, India; his master’s in medical microbiology from Manipal University in Manipal, India; and his doctorate in microbiology from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India.
Before joining UF’s faculty, he worked as a postdoctoral associate in the UF Department of Periodontology beginning in 2011. Chukkapalli’s work in periodontology included investigating the association between periodontal disease and systemic diseases like atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Specifically, he was working to demonstrate a causal relationship between the disparate diseases due to infection of the vascular tissues with four species of periodontopathogenic bacteria, as well as to develop a new mouse model for studying the association between periodontal disease and systemic diseases.
In the Progulske-Fox laboratory, Chukkapalli will focus on a research project, “P. gingivalis mediated disruption of autophagy in endothelial dysfunction,” which is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.