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Michael Valerio, Ph.D.

Michael Valerio, Ph.D.

Research Interests

  • Regulation of the inflammatory bone microenvironment
  • Vitamin D uptake and role in local inflammatory mitigation
  • Bone turnover and host-pathogen, host-material response by osteoclasts and osteoblasts
  • Drug-induced inflammatory disease mechanisms
  • Osseointegration and host-material response

Michael Valerio, Ph.D. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Dr. Michael Valerio is a Project Leader in Molecular and Cell Biology at the VRC. His interest is on molecular and genetic regulation of host-pathogen and host-environment interactions, especially as it relates to bone turnover and pathology.

Focusing on precision medicine and diagnostics, Dr. Valerio’s research interests involved delineating the molecular mechanisms and genetic predisposition to various oral diseases. For example, Drug-Induced Gingival Overgrowth (DIGO) is inducible by many families of drugs but only presents clinically in about 40% of patients termed responders. By determining the genetic basis for susceptibility, responders may be identified prior to adverse events. Going further to understanding molecular mechanisms and potential targets for common complex diseases like DIGO, Dr. Valerio aims to develop diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions to augment the host response.

In addition to mapping out molecular mechanisms of disease, Dr. Valerio is interested in host-material interaction. From a synergistic perspective, incorporation of molecular agents known to regulate host-response may prove advantageous against implant rejection or periodontal tissue destruction. For example, during periodontal disease and peri-implantitis, activated inflammatory pathways are aberrantly upregulated. By incorporating agonists (ex. Vitamin D) to genes which regulate these pathways, destructive bone loss and implant failure might be avoided. From a immuoprotective perspective, characterizing the hosts response to various new dental materials developed by NIST and VRC biomaterials specialists will serve to more precisely predict candidate materials that are safe and resistant to implant failures.

Dr. Valerio received his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Buffalo in 2011 and completed and NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship in Craniofacial Biology/Osteoimmunology from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2014.

Selected Publications (See NIH Public Access Listing)