Pirih's Lab

Dr. Pirih's lab group picture
Dr. Flavia Pirih

Principal Investigator:

Flavia Queiroz Pirih, D.D.S., Ph.D.


As a periodontist, I witness first-hand the challenges of treating periodontitis and peri-implantitis. As a clinician, some of the major issues I face include: a) the lack of information on how genetics (host) affects periodontitis and peri-implantitis initiation and progression, b) how to best treat patients that have developed periodontitis or peri-implantitis, and c) how periodontitis and systemic conditions can affect one another.

My interest in the role of genetics in periodontitis was sparked during my time as a periodontal resident and post-doc. According to studies performed in twins by Michalowicz et al., approximately 50% of periodontitis is heritable; however, most of the contributing factors have not been identified/validated because periodontitis is a complex trait disease. As clinicians, this lack of information impairs our ability to better treat our patients. Therefore, a better understanding of periodontitis is crucial for our dental profession. To address this problem, we performed Genome-Wide Association Studies utilizing the hybrid mouse diversity panel. This study: a) suggested that there are many potential contributors in periodontitis, b) reinforced that some genes should be further investigated, and c) validated the importance of many genes that we know are relevant in periodontitis.

In addition to periodontitis, periodontists are faced with the challenge of treating peri-implantitis. According to Derks et al., 14.5% of patients with dental implants will develop moderate to severe peri-implantitis. Unfortunately, peri-implantitis can only be successfully treated in approximately 50% of cases.  As a practicing periodontist, I have experienced the frustration from both the patient and provider perspective, of managing peri-implantitis. It is with this background in mind that my research group developed murine and porcine model of peri-implantitis. These models will allow us to understand the pathogenesis of peri-implantitis and develop new treatment strategies.

Current Projects and Grants

My laboratory focuses on understanding the basic and clinical aspects of periodontitis and peri-implantitis, with the ultimate goal of developing new strategies to prevent and treat both conditions. We conduct translational research that examines the role of genetics in patients' susceptibility to periodontitis and to better understand peri-implantitis.


  • Peri-implant health, peri-implant mucositis, and peri-implantitis: Case definitions and diagnostic considerations. Renvert S, Persson GR, Pirih FQ, Camargo PM. J Periodontol. 2018 Jun;89 Suppl 1:S304-S312. doi: 10.1002/JPER.17-0588. Review. PMID: 2992
  • Genomewide Association Study Identifies Cxcl Family Members as Partial Mediators of LPS-Induced Periodontitis. Hiyari S, Green E, Pan C, Lari S, Davar M, Davis R, Camargo PM, Tetradis S, Lusis AJ, Pirih FQ. J Bone Miner Res. 2018 Aug;33(8):1450-1463. d
  • Early intervention of peri-implantitis and periodontitis using a mouse model. Wong RL, Hiyari S, Yaghsezian A, Davar M, Casarin M, Lin YL, Tetradis S, Camargo PM, Pirih FQ. J Periodontol. 2018 Jun;89(6):669-679. doi: 10.1002/JPER.17-0541. PMID: 2952095
  • Susceptibility of different mouse strains to peri-implantitis. Hiyari S, Naghibi A, Wong R, Sadreshkevary R, Yi-Ling L, Tetradis S, Camargo PM, Pirih FQ. J Periodontal Res. 2018 Feb;53(1):107-116. doi: 10.1111/jre.12493. Epub 2017 Oct 17. PMID: 2904452
  • Heritability of periodontal bone loss in mice. Hiyari S, Atti E, Camargo PM, Eskin E, Lusis AJ, Tetradis S, Pirih FQ. J Periodontal Res. 2015 Dec;50(6):730-6. doi: 10.1111/jre.12258. Epub 2015 Jan 12. PMID: 25581386

Lab Members


List of collaborators within and outside of UCLA:

UCLA School of Dentsitry

Paulo Camargo, DDS, MS, MBA

Renate Lux, PhD

Sotirios Tetradis, DDS, PhD


Outside of Dentsitry

Nasim Annabi PhD, UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

Aldons J. Lusis, PhD, MedicineHuman GeneticsMicrobiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Outside of UCLA

Aurigena Araujo, DDS, PhD Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Jia Chang, DDS, PhD University of Florida

Richard Watt, PhD, Brigham Young University


Current Lab Members:

Visiting Graduate student:

Davi Neto de Araújo Silva, DDS, MS

Masters/Resident Student:

Sepehr Monajemzadeh, DDS

Aline Yaghesezian, DDS


Past Lab members:

Visiting Professors:

Aurigena Araújo DDS, PhD

Makiko Ishii DDS, PhD


Graduate Students:

PhD Students/visiting graduate students:

Maisa Casarin, DDS, PhD

Sarah Hiyari, PhD

Masters/Resident Students:

Julia Chen , DDS, MS

Elisa Green, DDS, MS

Soma Lari, DDS

Ho-Yin Leung, DDS, MS

Sherif Warda, DDS, MS

Ryan Wond, DDS, MS


Dental Students:

Kearny Chang, DDS

Greg Chang, DDS

James Zaiger, DDS


Ana Dilza Barroso, DDS

Adrian Jorge, DDS

Jeniffer Perussolo, DDS