Loma Linda University

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Faculty Directory
Hansel Fletcher, PhD
Assistant Dean, Graduate Student Affairs, School of Medicine
School of Medicine
Vice Chair, Basic Sciences, Microbiology Division
School of Medicine
Professor, Basic Sciences
School of Medicine
Professor, Periodontics
School of Dentistry

Dr. Fletcher is an established investigator on microbial pathogenesis and host-microbe interaction.  His pioneering work on genetic tool development for Porphyromonas lead to the first demonstration of the role of proteases in the virulence of P. gingivalis. Furthermore the genetic tool (an ermF/ermAM antibiotic resistance cassette) is the most widely used in genetics studies in P. gingivalis. His research program has provided evidence for posttranslational regulation of proteolytic activity in P. gingivalis and the first report of the identification of a gingipain proenzyme from this organism.  He has also provided evidence of a new paradigm for DNA repair of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine lesions  in P. gingivalis in addition to the first demonstration that gingipains from P. gingivalis can induce caspase-independent apoptosis in endothelial cells. His work with the P. gingivalis vimA (virulence modulation A) gene, identified in his laboratory, is emerging as a founding member of novel post-translational control mechanism in Gram-negatives. Dr. Fletcher has begun other studies with Fillifactor alocis, a new emerging Gram-positive bacterium that is now proposed to be a diagnostic indicator of periodontal disease. He was the first to report on the virulence potential of this organism. Dr. Fletcher’s research efforts have been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Medical Technology Testbed, University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program and other agencies or biotechnology companies.