Vivek Thumbigere-Math, BDS, PhD

Dr. Thumbigere-MathAssistant Professor
Division of Periodontology, Department of Advanced Oral Sciences & Therapeutics
University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD

Education

Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
PI: Martha Somerman, 2017

University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry
Ph.D., Oral Biology, 2013

University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry
Certificate in Periodontology, 2011

Sri Siddhartha Dental College, Karnataka, India
Bachelor of Dental Surgery (B.D.S.), 2002

Experience

Assistant Professor
Division of Periodontology, Department of Advanced Oral Sciences & Therapeutics
University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Oct 2017–Present

Clinical/Research Fellow
Laboratory of Oral and Connective Tissue Biology,
NIH/NIAMS/NIDCR, Oct 2013–Sept 2017

Dean’s Faculty Member
University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Jan 2011–Sept 2017

Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry, Sep 2011–Aug 2013

Dental Fellow Specialist
University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry, May 2008–May 2011

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry, Oct 2004–May 2013

Dental Surgeon
Bangalore, India, Jan 2004–July 2004

Research Statement

We are interested in the molecular biology of dental, oral, and craniofacial development, with an emphasis on the periodontal health and disease. We utilize a variety of approaches, including in vitro cell and organ culture, transgenic animal models, and clinical studies involving human subjects with rare genetic disorders. The integrated bench-to-bedside model is intrinsic to our lab’s research program. 

We have four main focus areas of research —

  1. Human genetics of periodontal disease
    Our laboratory aims to understand why some patients develop severe clinical illness during the course of infection, while most people exposed to the same oral microbe remain unharmed. Our work focuses on identifying and characterizing genetic mutations that compromise host immunity and confer increased susceptibility to periodontal disease. Currently, we are exploring the role of IRF8 and LYST mutations in increased susceptibility to periodontal disease.

  2. Oral microbiome-host immune interactions in periodontal disease – The human oral cavity represents a major portal of pathogen exposure and is a chief anatomical site for development of inflammatory disorders. Understanding how the immune system functions at these barrier sites is critical for prevention of oral diseases and promotion of general health. Our laboratory is currently exploring the mechanisms by which oral microbiome controls periodontal tissue immunity, pathogen infection, and inflammatory disease process.

  3. Osteoimmunology in periodontal health and disease
    Previously, bone cells such as osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes were thought to be involved only in bone resorption and formation. However, recently it has become clear that they also closely interact with immune cells in the bone marrow, constituting the osteoimmune system, to regulate calcium homeostasis, bone mass/quality, and hematopoiesis in response to external stimuli. Delineating the regulatory mechanisms governing the osteoclast and osteoblast function, and their cross talk with immune cells are critical for understanding tissue destruction process in periodontitis - the typical pathological event at the interface of bone and activated immune system.

  4. Mineralized tissue biology – Our laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular biology of tooth root development and mineralization, which would lead towards novel tissue regeneration approaches and restoration of function. Specific areas of research include:
    • Oral manifestations of skeletal/endocrine diseases.
    • Role of phosphate and pyrophosphate metabolism in the pathophysiology of dentoalveolar complex.
    • Role of extracellular matrix proteins and signaling molecules in tooth root development and differentiation of associated cells.
    • Novel approaches for periodontal tissue regeneration.

Current Research Support

NIH/NIAMS K99/R00 grant AR 069643

Scientific Publications

Wolf M, Ao M, Chavez MB, Thumbigere‐Math V, Becker M, Chu EY, Jäger A, Somerman MJ, Foster BL. Reduced orthodontic tooth movement in Enpp1 mutant mice with hypercementosis. Journal of Dental Research (Accepted 2018).

Thumbigere-Math V, Alqadi A, Chalmers NI, Chavez MB, Chu EY, Collins MT, Ferreira CR, FitzGerald K, Gafni RI, Gahl WA, Hsu KS, Ramnitz MS, Somerman MJ, Ziegler SG, and Foster BL. Hypercementosis Associated with ENPP1 Mutations and Generalized Arterial Calcification of Infancy (GACI). J Dent Res. 2017 Dec 1.

Thumbigere-Math V*, Reboucas P*, Giovani PA, Puppin-Rontani RM, Casarin R, Martins L, Wang L, Introne WJ, Somerman MJ, Nociti Jr. FH, and Kanovitz KR. Periodontitis in Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome: An Altered Immunoinflammatory Response. JDR Clin Trans Res. 2018 Jan;3(1):35-46. *These authors contributed equally to this study.

Neely AL*, Thumbigere-Math V*, Somerman MJ, and Foster BL. A Familial Pattern of Multiple Idiopathic Cervical Root Resorption With A 30-Year Follow-Up. Journal of Periodontology. 2016 Apr;87(4):426-33. *These authors contributed equally to this study.

Thumbigere-Math V, Michalowicz BS, Hughes PJ, Basi DL, Tsai ML, Swenson KK, Rockwell L, and Gopalakrishnan R. Serum Markers of Bone Turnover and Angiogenesis in Bisphosphonate- related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Patients Following Discontinuation of Long-term Intravenous Bisphosphonate Therapy. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2016 Apr;74(4):738-46.

Wang L, Tran AB, Nociti Jr. FH, Thumbigere-Math V, Foster BL, Krieger CC, Kantovitz KR, Novince CM, Koh AJ, McCauley LK, and Somerman MJ. PTH and Vitamin D Repress DMP1 in Cementoblasts. J Dent Res. 2015 Oct;94(10):1408-16.

Thumbigere-Math V, and Johnson DK. Treatment of Amalgam Tattoo with Subepithelial Connective Tissue Graft and Acellular Dermal Matrix. J Int Acad Periodontol. 2014 Apr;16(2):50-4.

Thumbigere-Math V, Michalowicz BS, de Jong EP, Griffin TJ, Basi DL, Hughes PJ, Tsai ML, Swenson KK, Rockwell L, and Gopalakrishnan R. Salivary proteomics in Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw. Oral Dis. 2015 Jan;21(1):46-56.

Thumbigere-Math V, Michalowicz BS, Hodges JS, Tsai ML, Swenson KK, Rockwell L, and Gopalakrishnan R. Periodontal Disease as a Risk Factor for Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw. Journal of Periodontology. 2014 Feb;85(2):226-33.

Michalowicz BS, Gustafsson A, Thumbigere-Math V, and Buhlin K. The Effects of Periodontal Treatment on Pregnancy Outcomes. Journal of Clinical Periodontology. 2013 Apr;40 Suppl 14:S195-208.

Thumbigere-Math V, Gopalakrishnan R, and Michalowicz BS. Teriparatide Therapy for Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: A case report and a narrative review. Northwest Dentistry. 2013 Jan-Feb;92(1):12-18.

Thumbigere-Math V, Tu L, Huckabay S, Dudek AZ, Lunos S, Basi DL, Hughes PJ, Leach JW, Swenson KK, and Gopalakrishnan R. A Retrospective Study Evaluating Frequency and Risk factors of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw in 576 Cancer Patients Receiving IntravenousBisphosphonates. American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2012 Aug;35(4):386-392.

Basi DL, Hughes PJ, Thumbigere-Math V, Sabino M, Mariash A, Lunos SA, Jensen E, and Gopalakrishnan R. Augmented Matrix Metalloproteinase–9 expression in Zoledronic Acid Treated Rat Alveolar Extractions Sockets. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2011 Nov;69(11):2698- 707.

Thumbigere-Math V, Sabino MC, Gopalakrishnan R, Huckabay S, Dudek AZ, Basu S, Hughes PJ, Michalowicz BS, Leach JW, Swenson KK, Swift JQ, Adkinson C, and Basi DL. Bisphosphonate- related osteonecrosis of the jaw: clinical features, risk factors, management, and treatment outcomes of 26 patients. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2009 Sep;67(9):1904-13.

Thumbigere-Math V. Horizons: The 2009 table clinics. Northwest Dent. 2009 May- Jun;88(3):33,4, 87.

Dudek AZ, Mescher MF, Okazaki I, Thumbigere-Math V, Luo X, Curtsinger JM, and Miller JS. Autologous large multivalent immunogen vaccine in patients with metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2008 Apr;31(2):173-81.