Dr. José Lemos Named 2023 UFRF Professor

Jose Lemos, Ph.D.
José Lemos, Ph.D.

UFCD Associate Professor of Oral Biology José Lemos, Ph.D., is the recipient of one of the University of Florida’s 2023 Research Foundation Professorship Awards, designated for 34 of the university’s most productive and promising faculty this year in recognition of their distinguished records of research.

UF Research Foundation Professors receive a three-year $5,000 salary supplement and a one-time $3,000 grant.

“This recognition goes to faculty who have a distinguished current record of research and a strong research agenda that is likely to lead to continuing distinction in their fields,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “Based on the more than 700 UF faculty recognized over the past 26 years, we can expect significant research discoveries, scholarship and technology transfer from this group in the future.”

Lemos certainly fits the bill at the UF College of Dentistry, where his diverse and significant contributions to research in the Lemos-Abranches Laboratory, over $12 million in extramural funding through the last five years amid 17 uninterrupted years of funding, and his unwavering dedication to mentoring the next generation of scientists as program director of the college’s National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, or NIH/NIDCR, T90/R90 Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology, have established him as an international leader in his field of expertise.

In addition to serving as principal investigator of UFCD’s Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology – one of only 15 training grants awarded to U.S. academic institutions – and mentoring undergraduates, graduate trainees, DMD students and postdoctoral fellows in the Lemos-Abranches Laboratory, Lemos is the co-coordinator of the microbiology and immunology concentration in the UF College of Medicine’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.

His research areas of interest are oral microbiology, microbial pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions and molecular microbiology. His portfolio focuses on the identification and characterization of virulence and stress response mechanisms of bacterial pathogens, with a focus on enterococcal and streptococcal species associated with opportunistic infections. Lemos has published his work in some of the most reputable microbiology journals, resulting in numerous invitations to write review articles, commentaries and book chapters, and present at prestigious conferences like the International Association of Dental Research, or IADR, annual meeting.

Lemos’ research has long been supported by multiple NIH/NIDCR R01 grants, multiple National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, or NIAID, R21 grants, a current NIAID R56 grant and upcoming NIAID R01 grant along with various other funding sources. His research findings have resulted in a new interdisciplinary collaboration with the UF College of Pharmacy on artificial-intelligence based modeling and chemical synthesis to further explore the discovery of a zinc-based therapy to target S. mutans.

Lemos is vice chair, next to be chair, of the highly-regarded 2024 Gordon Research Conference in Streptococcal Biology, is a standing member of the NIAID Bacterial Pathogenesis study section, and is past president of the microbiology and immunology division of dentistry’s largest international and national organizations, the IADR and the American Association of Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Research. 

He earned his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 2000 and conducted his postdoctoral research at the University of Rochester and UF – his first stint at UFCD as a research assistant professor in the Department of Oral Biology. In 2007 he began his independent research career at the University of Rochester in the Center of Oral Biology and Department of Microbiology and Immunology before returning home to Gainesville in 2015 as part of UF’s Metabolomics Preeminence Initiative. An associate professor for the college, Lemos earned tenure in 2020.

UFRF Professors are recommended by their college deans based on nominations from department chairs, a personal statement and an evaluation of their recent research accomplishments as evidenced by publications in scholarly journals, external funding, honors and awards, development of intellectual property and other measures appropriate to their field of expertise. The professorships are funded from the university’s share of royalty and licensing income on UF-generated products.

The program was briefly paused in 2020 amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. View all of the 2023 UFRF Professors.