Dr. Frank Gibson Named 2024 UFRF Professor

Frank Gibson
Frank Gibson III, Ph.D.

University of Florida College of Dentistry associate professor and coordinator of the college’s DMD/PhD combined-degree program, Frank Gibson III, Ph.D., was named one of the university’s 2024 UF Research Foundation Professors for his distinguished record of oral health research and contributions to our college and the profession.

Housed in the renowned Department of Oral Biology, research in Gibson’s Laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of oral disease, including studies to garner a better understanding of the host mechanisms and bacterial structures in infection-elicited inflammation. Current lines of investigation in the lab utilize the rod-shaped oral bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, or P. gingivalis, as the model organism to study key facets of bacterial infection and in the development of inflammation and oral bone loss.

In addition to the pathogenesis of oral disease, the lab is engaged in a number of collaborative studies that have been influential in identifying associations of oral bacterial infection with cardiovascular disease, periodontal disease and HIV co-infection.

Current experimental evidence suggests that P. gingivalis is a potential risk factor for atherosclerosis and collaborative studies in the Gibson Laboratory have also begun to explore P. gingivalis interactions with adipocytes – a cell specialized for the storage of fat – and integrative studies to investigate aspects of P. gingivalis / HIV co-infection.

Dr. Frank Gibson

The three-year award for each of the 34 UFRF Professors includes a $5,000 annual salary supplement and a one-time $3,000 grant. The professorships are funded from the university’s share of royalty and licensing income on UF-generated products.

UFRF Professors are recommended by their college deans based on nominations from their 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.

UF Research will recognize the new UFRF Professors during an event in the fall.

Congratulations, Dr. Gibson!