Bruce Baum, D.M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Dr. Bruce Baum’s PhotographDr. Bruce Baum received his BA in baumhistory from the University of Virginia in 1967, his DMD from Tufts University in 1971, and his PhD in biochemistry from Boston University in 1974. After serving as a research officer in the US Navy from 1974-76, he joined the National Institutes of Health as a post-doctoral fellow in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. In 1978 he joined the National Institute on Aging as a senior investigator. He was recruited in 1982 to the National Institute of Dental Research (now the NIDCR) as its clinical director. He was the chief of the NIH hospital’s dental service until 1996 and chief of its Clinical Investigations and Patient Care Branch. He stepped down from that position in 2005 to focus on the development of a clinical gene therapy protocol to repair radiation damaged salivary glands. Since 1978, he has conducted innovative research focused on physiological aging and on the pathogenesis and management of salivary gland disorders. Most recently, with pioneering studies beginning in 1991, Dr. Baum and his colleagues developed highly novel applications of gene transfer technology and tissue engineering for the repair of severely damaged salivary glands, conditions for which no suitable treatment currently exists. In addition to his research, Dr. Baum has made a considerable effort to increase the relevancy of biological science in dental education. Dr. Baum has received much recognition for his research, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2007.

Nikolay Nikolov, MD, Lead Associate Investigator

Dr. Nikolay Nikolov’s PhotographDr. Nikolay Nikolov is a staffnikolov clinician and clinical investigator at the Molecular Physiology and Therapeutics Branch of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr Nikolov obtained his medical degree from the Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He completed an Internal Medicine residency in New York in 2002 and then joined National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), NIH where he completed his rheumatology fellowship in 2004. During his training at the NIH he took part in clinical investigational protocols and also studied cellular and molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity in animal models in the Immunoregulatory Group, Autoimmunity Branch at NIAMS. One of his laboratory projects investigating the role of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein in autoimmunity has lead to a Bench-to-Bedside award in 2005. In 2005 Dr. Nikolov joined the Sjögren’s Syndrome Group at NIDCR as a clinical investigator and in 2007 joined the AQP1 gene therapy for radiation-induced xerostomia study team. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology and is currently conducting clinical and translational research in the areas of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren’s syndrome with a strong interest in understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmunity and the application of novel treatments for autoimmune diseases.

Gabor Illei, MD, PhD, MHS, Associate Investigator

Dr. Gabor Illei’s PhotographDr. Gabor Illei graduated from Medical illeiSchool in Hungary in 1985. He spent three years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oxford in England from 1990-1993. He moved to the United States in 1993, where he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University Hospital, State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Rheumatology fellowship at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. He received a PhD from Semmelweis Univeristy in Budapest and a Master’s degree in Health Sciences from Duke University. After completing his fellowship he became a staff physician and clinical investigator at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases where he focused on clinical studies of systemic lupus erythematosus. In 2004 he joined the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, as Head of the Sjögren’s Syndrome Clinic. He has been Principle Investigator on several clinical protocols evaluating novel therapies on the long-term effects of immunosuppressive treatments in SLE and in Sjögren’s Syndrome.

Ilias Alevizos, DMD, MMSc, Associate Investigator

Dr. Ilias Alevizos’s PhotographDr. Ilias Alevizos received his BS in alevizosBiology from Adelphi University, his DMD from Tufts University, his MMSc from Harvard University and specialized in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Harvard University. Dr Alevizos has completed postdoctoral research appointments at MIT and University of Padova, Italy and a clinical research fellowship at NIH. During his postdoctoral appointments he focused on the exploration of high throughput genomics for disease development of genetic signatures that would allow for the identification of early cellular changes that can serve as biomarkers or pharmacologic targets. Dr. Alevizos is a member of the multidisciplinary Sjogren’s syndrome medical team at NIH. He possesses extensive clinical experience in the diagnosis and management of oral diseases especially ones related to salivary glands. He is currently participating in many clinical research protocols at NIH. His basic science focus is on salivary gland physiology and more specifically how alterations in the expression of non-coding genes participate in the development of diseases impairing the function of salivary glands.

Changyu Zheng, MD, PhD, Associate Investigator

Dr. Changyu Zheng’s PhotographDr. Changyu Zheng is a staff scientiszhengt in the Gene Transfer Section of the Molecular Physiology and Therapeutics Branch of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Zheng obtained his M.D. (1983), and a MS in radiopathology (1986), from Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences, Changchun, China. In 1995, he obtained his PhD degree in molecular biology from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He then spent more than 4 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at NIDCR before becoming a staff scientist in 2000. His key responsibilities in the current clinical trial are to perform assays evaluating (1) if a subject’s saliva sample contains adenovirus before and after vector delivery; and (2) the level of antibody against adenovirus serotype 5 in a subject’s samples before and after vector delivery. In addition to his work on this clinical trial, Dr. Zheng conducts novel laboratory-based studies both on gene transfer to salivary glands and on improving viral vectors for gene transfer.

Linda McCullagh, RN, MPH, Associate Investigator

Linda McCullagh’s PhotographLinda McCullagh received her BSmccullagh in Nursing from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in 1979 and then joined the NIH Clinical Center nursing staff. She earned a Master’s of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in chronic disease epidemiology in 1995. Ms. McCullagh has supported biomedical and nursing research throughout her 30 years at NIH. During the last 15 years her work has focused on otolaryngology, head and neck cancer, and salivary dysfunction.

Corinne Goldsmith, BS, Molecular Biologist

Corinne Goldsmith, who currently supports laboratory work for this study, has been a biologist with the NIDCR at the National Institutes of Health for the past 14 years. Prior to Ms. Goldsmith’s start at the NIDCR she obtained a BS degree in microbiology at Howard University in 1992. She has worked in several pharmaceutical companies in the Quality Control department. During her tenure here, Ms. Goldsmith has had an integral part in training post doctoral fellows and summer students in laboratory methods. These methods include cloning different genes into vectors and propagating and amplifying adeno and adeno-associated viruses. These viruses are later used in-vivo for animal studies that precede human clinical studies.