Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)



Program Name/Specialization

Biological and Chemical Sciences


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Michael Suits, PhD.

Advisor Role

Principal Investigator


Periodontitis is a destructive polymicrobial disease of the teeth and gums characterized by dental plaque biofilms on the tooth surface, severe inflammation of surrounding gum tissues, and the resorption of alveolar bone. Discussed as one of the most prevalent conditions plaguing humankind, increased clinical parameters of periodontitis is associated with the increased presence of three bacteria known as the “red complex”: Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, and Treponema denticola. Various transcriptomic and proteomic studies of T. denticola when incorporated into mature biofilms have illuminated key gene targets the bacterium may use as virulence factors to aid in pathogenesis. Of the identified gene targets, Tde1414, Tde1511, and Tde2714 were further investigated on their roles to promote infection. Understanding the biological processes in which these proteins function will unveil a deeper mechanistic understanding to infection. We have used bioinformatics, biochemical processes, and structural characterization methods to evaluate structural and functional hypotheses for these targets. Our characterization has provided insight into what we have hypothesized to be important biological contributions that may contribute to keystone biological processes for T. denticola and as such, may provide details to exploit for therapeutic design.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Available for download on Saturday, September 28, 2024