OppermanRegents Professor, Head, Department of Biomedical Sciences; Director of Technology Development, Office of Research and Graduate Studies; Member of the GSBS Faculty

3302 Gaston Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75246
Phone: 214-828-8134
Fax: 214-874-4538
Email: lopperman@tamhsc.edu

Google Scholar Profile

Education and Post-Graduate Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Plastic

 Surgery, University of Virginia Medical School, Charlottesville, VA (1991-1995)

Postdoctoral Fellowship,  Department of Pathology, University of Virginia Medical School, Charlottesville, VA (1989-1990)

Ph.D., Developmental Biology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (1985)

B.Sc. (Hons), Zoology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (1980)

B.Sc., Zoology and Psychology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (1979)

Career History

Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas, TX (2008-present)

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas, TX (2004-2008)

Graduate Faculty, Texas A&M Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, College Station, TX  (2000-present)

Assistant Professor,  Department of Biomedical Sciences,  Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas, TX  (1997-2004)

Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA  (1995-1996)

Research Officer, MRC Research Unit for Pediatric Mineral Metabolism, Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto, South Africa (1985-1988)

Teaching Interests

Teaching responsibilities include:

Prenatal Craniofacial Development, Cell and Molecular Biology of Oral and Craniofacial Tissues, Graduate Student Colloquium (course director), General Histology (course director) and research mentor for D.D.S. specialty students.

Research Interests

My early research focused on bringing a developmental biology approach to understanding craniofacial anomalies in children, specifically craniosynostosis (premature obliteration of cranial sutures).  I was the first researcher to demonstrate that tissue interactions are required for normal suture development and that the dura mater contained cells secreting soluble factors responsible for regulating suture development.  My focus was on the role of Tgf-ßs in regulating suture patency, and I showed that Tgf-ß signaling via Erk pathways was responsible for Tgf-ß-induced suture closure.  Later publications showed that Tgf-ß interacted with Eft in a sequential manner to regulate suture patency.  My expertise in cranial growth and development led to a team-based approach to understanding bone generation, augmentation, wound healing and repair during surgical repair of cranial defects.  Several publications show novel combinations of scaffolds and growth factors for accelerating bone augmentation and healing.  A postdoctoral fellow and I collaborated in the development of a novel bone transport distraction device for repairing large bone gaps in the mandible using STTR and SBIR funding from NIH.  Three patents (7,182,785,7,998,216, 8,287,573) were assigned to our company, Craniotech ACR Devices, LLC.  FDA 510K clearance K062572, Regulation#21 CFR 872.4760, Product code MQN, Trade/Device name Craniotech Bone Transport Reconstruction Plate (BTRP) was received for the device described in patent 7, 182,785. The FDA is requiring clinical IND  studies prior to clearing the bidirectional BTRP-02.  An industry partnership is being sought to complete these studies.  Using the bone transport devices, we were able to test the ability of distraction regenerate bone to accommodate implant placement, allowing for functional restoration of patients with large mandibular bone deficits without the requirements of vascularized bone grafting.   A bidirectional bone transport device allowed for the first time the ability to test in the same animal the quality and quantity of regenerate produced using dentate vs. edentulous transport segments, one on either side of a complete anterior mandible resection defect.  It was found that dentate and edentulous segments produced similar regenerate bone conforming closely to the shape of the reconstruction plate.  It remains to be shown that implants placed in the regenerate can restore functional occlusion in a human.  In parallel with my own entrepreneurial activities, I have collaborative research activities testing and developing new dental materials and new topical gels and drug delivery devices for use in the oral cavity.  Recent collaborative activities have resulted in new endodontic materials being tested with Phase I and II SBIR funding to Primus Consulting, LLC, and a novel finding that an antioxidant dental gel developed by Periosciences can mitigate the effects of metal toxicity on oral cells.

Dr. Opperman has served as president of the American Association of Anatomists, the Craniofacial Biology Group  of the International Association for Dental Research, and the Bioengineering Interest Group of Dallas/Fort Worth, as well as serving as Councilor of the Dallas chapter of the American Association for Dental Research.  She has served multiple terms as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Texas A&M Health Science Center Faculty Senate and is currently the caucus leader for the HSC caucus for the Texas A&M University Senate.  She is or has served as a member of the editorial boards of Developmental Dynamics, Frontiers in Craniofacial Biology, the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Experimental Biology and Medicine, and on the scientific advisory board of the Journal of Endodontics.

Grant activity

Principal Investigator:
1993-1995 Individual National Research Service Award F32 DEO5622 (NIH/NIDCR)
1996-2003 First Award R29 DE11978 (NIH/NIDCR)
1998-1999 Supplement to R29 DE11978 (NIH/NIDCR)
2000-2001 Supplement to R29 DE11978 (NIH/NIDCR)
2001-2002 Tobacco Initiative (TAMUS-HSC)
2003-2004 Small Business STTR Phase I R41 DE15437 (NIH/NIDCR)
2005-2007 Small Business STTR Phase II R42 DE015437-02 (NIH/NIDCR)
2011-2012 Natural Dental Implants, Inc.
2012-2013 Natural Dental Implants, Inc.
2012-2015 R44 DE020204-01; Small Business Innovation Research Grant, subcontract
2014-2015 R44 DE02004-01S1; Small Business Innovation Research Grant, subcontract
2015-2016 REPLICATETM Tooth Implant Study, Natural Dental Implants
Co-Investigator and PI on Subcontracts:
1991-1992 Maxillofacial Surgeons Foundation Award (PI, Dr. J.A. Persing)
1992-1993 Maxillofacial Surgeons Foundation Award (PI, Dr. J.A. Persing)
1994-1995 Maxillofacial Surgeons Foundation Award (PI, Dr. K.Y. Lin)
1997-1998 Foundation for Orthodontic Research (PI, Dr. J.B. Cope)
1998-1999 Baylor Oral Health Foundation (PI, Dr. R.P. Harper)
1998-2000 Baylor Oral Health Foundation (PI, Dr. C.D. Bishop)
2003-2006 R01 DE15401 (NIH/NIDCR) (PI, Dr. R. Hinton)
2005-2006 Small Business SBIR Phase I R43 DE015893-01  (NIH/NIDCR) (PI, Z. Minevski)
2007-2008 Small Business SBIR Phase I R43 DE017259-01 (NIH/NIDCR) (PI, T. Mulone)
2007-2009 Small Business SBIR Phase II R44 DE015893-01 (NIH/NIDCR) (PI, Z. Minevski)
2007-2010 Small Business SBIR Phase I R43 DE017259-01 (NIH/NIDCR) 
2009-2010 Small Business SBIR Phase I R43 DE017259-01 (NIH/NIDCR); ARRA Suppl.
2008-2009 Medtronic Inc.
2010-2012 R03 DE020119-01 NIDCR (PI, M.D. Benson)
2012-2013 Delta Dental (PI, H. Tapias)
2012-2015 Small Business SBIR Phase II R44 DE020204-01 NIH/NIDCR (PI,Primus)
2014-2015 Small Business SBIR Phas II R44 DE020204-01S1 NIH/NIDCR (PI, Primus)
2014-2016 Boston University School of Medicine (NIH)  (PI Subcontract,  H. Tapias)
2015-2016 Natural Dental Implants, Inc. REPLICATETM Tooth Implant Study (Co-PI)
1999-2004 Comprehensive Oral Health Research Center of Discovery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD NIH/NIDCR (P60 DE13078), Cytokine therapy in craniosynostotic rabbits
2003-2007 Individual Predoctoral Dental Scientist Fellowship F30 DE014657 for Joseph T. Rawlins
2003-2005 AADR Student Research Fellowship, Dentsply International, Joseph T. Rawlins
2005-2010 UT Southwestern Clinical Science Scholars program; NIH/NIDCR K12; HD052225-01

Selected Publications

  1. Opperman LA, Sweeney TM, Redmon J, Persing JA, Ogle RC 1993  Tissue interactions with dura mater inhibit osseous obliteration of developing cranial sutures.  Dev Dynam 198:312-322.
  2. Opperman LAAdab K, Gakunga PT 2000 TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 regulate fetal rat cranial suture morphogenesis by regulating levels of cell proliferation and apoptosis.  Dev Dynam 219:237-247.
  3. Opperman LA  2000 Cranial sutures as intramembranous bone growth sites. Dev Dynam 219:472-485.
  4. Sykaras N, Triplett RG, Nunn ME, Iacopino AM, Opperman, LA 2001 Effect of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 on bone regeneration and osseointegration of dental implants.  Clin Oral Implants Res 12:339-349.
  5. Opperman LA, Moursi A, Sayne JR, Wintergerst AM 2002 Transforming growth factor-beta 3 (Tgf-β3) in a collagen gel delays fusion of the rat posterior interfrontal suture in vivo. Anat Rec 267:120-130.
  6. Adab K, Sayne JR, Carlson DS, Opperman LA 2003 Nasal capsular cartilage is required for rat transpalatal suture morphogenesis.  Differentiation 71:496-505.
  7. Perry M, Hodges NE, Hallmon W, Rees T, Opperman LA 2005 Distraction osteogenesis versus autogenous onlay grafting. Part I: outcome of implant integration. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 20:695–702.
  8. Hodges NE, Perry M, Mohamed W, Hallmon W, Rees T, Opperman LA 2006 Distraction osteogenesis versus autologous onlay grafting part II: biology of regenerate and onlay bone. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 21:237-244.
  9. Opperman LA,Fernandez CR, So S, Rawlins JT 2006 Erk1/2 signaling is required for Tgf-ß2 induced suture closure. Dev Dynam 235:1292-1299.
  10. Alaqeel SM, Hinton, RJ, Opperman LA 2006 Cellular response to force application at craniofacial sutures. Orthodon Craniofac Res 9:111–122.
  11. Mooney MP, Losken HW, Moursi AM, Bradley J, Azari K, Acarturk TO, Cooper GM, Thompson B, Opperman LA,Siegel MI 2007 Anti-Tgf-ß2 antibody therapy inhibits postoperative resynostosis in craniosynostotic rabbits. Plastic Reconstr Surg 119:1200-1212.
  12. Wadhwa S, Bi Y, Ortiz AT, Embree MC, Kilts T, Iozzo RV, Opperman LA, Young MF 2007 Impaired posterior frontal sutural fusion in the biglycan/decorin double deficient mice. Bone 40:861-866.
  13. Shibazaki R, Dechow PC, Maki K, Opperman LA 2007 Biomechanical strain and morphologic changes with age in rat calvarial bone and sutures. Plastic Reconstr Surg 119:2167-2178.
  14. Genecov DG, Kremer M, Agarwal R, Salyer KE, Barcelo CR, Aberman HM, Opperman LA 2007 Norian craniofacial repair system: Compatibility with resorbable and non-resorbable plating materials. Plastic Reconstr Surg 120:1487-1495.
  15. Carrillo R, Rossouw EP, Franco PF, Opperman LA, Buschang PH  2007  Intrusion of multiradicular teeth and related root resorption with mini-screw implant anchorage: A radiographic evaluation. Am J Orthodon Dentofac Orthop 132: 647-655.
  16. Dacy JA, Spears R, Hallmon W, Kerns D, Rivera-Hidalgo F, Minevski ZS, Nelson CJ,  Opperman LA  2007 Effects of phosphated titanium on osseoinduction. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 22:701-709.
  17. Carrillo R, Buschang PH, Opperman LA, Franco PF, Rossouw EP 2007  Segmental intrusion with mini-screw implant anchorage: A radiographic evaluation. Am J Orthodon Dentofac Orthop 132:576.el-576.e6.
  18. Chamorro MM, Regan JD, Opperman LA, Kramer PR  2008  Effect of storage media on human periodontal ligament cell apoptosis.  J Traumatol  24:11-16.
  19. Elsalanty ME, Por YC, Genecov DG, Salyer KE, Opperman LA 2008  Recombinant human BMP-2 enhances the effects of materials used for reconstruction of large cranial defects. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 66:277-285.
  20. Naidu A, Dechow PC, Spears R, Kessler HP, Wright JM, Opperman LA 2008  Effects of bisphosphonates on osteoblast behavior.  OOO (Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology) 106:5-13.
  21. Rawlins JT, Fernandez CR, Cozby ME, Opperman LA 2008. Timing of Egf treatment differentially affects TGF-β2 induced cranial suture closure.  Exp Biol Med 233:1518-26.
  22. Woods PW, Buschang PH, Owens SE, Rossouw PE, Opperman LA 2009 The effect of force, timing and location on bone-to-implant contact of miniscrew implants.  Eur J Orthod 31:232-240.
  23. Elsalanty ME, Zakhary I, Akeel S, Benson B, Mulone T, Triplett GR, Opperman LA 2009 Reconstruction of canine mandibular bone defects using a bone transport reconstruction plate.  Ann Plast Surg 63:441-448.
  24. Liu SS, Opperman LA, Buschang PH 2009 Effects of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 on midsagittal sutural bone formation during expansion.  Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 136: 768-769.
  25. He D, Genecov DG, Herbert M, Barcelo R, Elsalanty ME, Weprin BE, Opperman LA 2010 Effect of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 on bone regeneration in large defects of the growing canine skull after dura mater replacement with a dura mater substitute.  J Neurosurg 112:319-328.
  26. Sanjideh PA, Rossouw PE, Campbell PM, Opperman LA, Buschang PH 2010 Tooth movements in foxhounds after one or two alveolar corticotomies.  Eur J Orthod 32:106-113.
  27. Zapata U, Elsalanty ME, Dechow PC, Opperman LA 2010 Biomechanical configurations of mandibular transport distraction osteogenesis devices.  Tissue Eng Part B Rev 16:273-283.
  28. Foley CH, Kerns DG, Hallmon WW, Rivera-Hidalgo F, Nelson CJ, Spears R, Dechow PC, Opperman LA 2010 Effect of phosphate treatment of acid-etched implants on mineral apposition rates near implants in a dog model.  Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants  25:278-286.
  29. San Miguel SM, Opperman LA, Allen EP, Zielinski J, Svoboda KK  2010  Antioxidents counteract nicotine and promote migration via RacGTP in oral fibroblast cells.   J Periodontol 81:1675-90.
  30. Ramirez-Echave JI, Buschang PH, Carrillo R, Rossouw PE, Nagy WW, Opperman LA  2011 Histologic evaluation of root response to intrusion in mandibular teeth in beagle dogs.  Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 139:60-69.
  31. Reuben JS, Dinh L, Lee J, Stateson J, Kamara H, Xiang L, Opperman LA  2011  Bisphosphonates inhibit phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3: Implications for their effects on innate immune function and osteoclastogenesis.  Oral Sur Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 111:196-204.
  32. Liu SS, Opperman LA, Kyung HM, Buschang PH  2011 Is there an optimal force level for sutural expansion?  Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 139:446-55.
  33. Zapata U, Opperman LA, Kontogiorgos E, Elsalanty ME, Dechow PC  2011 Biomechanical characteristics of regenerated cortical bone in the canine mandible.  J Tissue Eng Regen Med  5:551-559.
  34. San Miguel SM, Opperman LA, Allen EP, Zielinski J, Svoboda KK  2011 Bioactive antioxident mixtures promote proliferation and migration on human oral fibroblasts.  Arch Oral Biol 56:812-822.
  35. Kontogiorgos E, Elsalanty ME, Zapata U, Zakhary I, Nagy WW, Dechow PC, Opperman LA  2011 Three-dimensional evaluation of mandibular bone regenerated by bone transport distraction osteogenesis.  Calcif Tissue Int  89:43-52.
  36. Nagashima LK, Rondon-Newby M, Zakhary IE, Nagy WW, Zapata U, Dechow PC, Opperman LAElsalanty ME.  2011   Bone regeneration and docking site healing after bone transport distraction osteogenesis in the canine mandible.  J Oral Maxillofac Surg 70:429-39.
  37. Washington JT, Schneiderman E, Spears R, Fernandez CR, He J, Opperman LA. 2011  Biocompatibility and osteogenic potential of new generation endodontic materials established by using primary osteoblasts.  J Endod 37:1166-70.
  38. Zapata U, Halvachs EK, Dechow PC, Elsalanty ME, Opperman LA. 2011  Architecture and microstructure of cortical bone in reconstructed canine mandibles after bone transport distraction osteogenesis.  Calcif Tissue Int 89:379-388.
  39. Shibazaki-Yorozuya R, Wang Q, Dechow PC, Maki K, Opperman LA. 2012  Changes in biomechanical strain and morphology of rat calvarial sutures and bone after Tgf-β3 inhibition of posterior interfrontal suture fusion.  Anat Rec 295:928-938.
  40. Hale R, Gatti R, Glickman GN, Opperman LA. 2012 Comparative analysis of carrier-based obturation and lateral compaction: A retrospective clinical outcomes study.  Int J Dent 2012:954675.
  41. San Miguel SM, Opperman LA, Allen EP, Zielinski J, Svoboda KK. 2012  Bioactive polyphenol antioxidants protect oral fibroblasts from ROS-inducing agents.  Arch Oral Biol 57:1657-1667.
  42. Bird DC, Komabayashi T, Opperman LA, Spears R.  2012  In vitro evaluation of dentinal tubule penetration and biomineralization ability of a new root-end filling material.  J Endod 38(8): 1093-96.
  43. Garza EG, Wadajkar A, Ahn C, Zhu Q, Opperman LA, Bellinger LL, Nguyen KT, Komabayashi T.  2012 Cytotoxicity evaluation of methacrylate-based resins for clinical endodontics in vitro.  J Oral Sci 54 (3):213-217.
  44. Massey CC, Kontogiorgos E, Taylor R, Opperman L, Dechow PC, Buschang PH. 2012  The effect of force on alveolar bone surrounding miniscrew implants - a 3d μCT study.  AJODO 142:32-44.
  45. Walker S, Kontogiorgos ED, Dechow PC, Kerns DG, Nelson CJ, Opperman LA.  2012  Comparison of the effects of phosphate-coated and sandblasted acid-etched titanium implants on osseointegration: A microcomputed tomographic examination in the canine model.  IJOMI 27:1069-1080.
  46. Benson MD, Henkemeyer M, Chenaux G, Opperman LA, Westerlund J, Fernandez CR, San Miguel SM.  2012  Ephrin-B stimulation of calvarial bone formation.  Dev Dynam 241:1901-1910.
  47. San Miguel SM, Opperman LA, Allen EP, Svoboda KK.  2013  Antioxidant combinations protect oral fibroblasts against metal-induced toxicity.  Arch Oral Biol 58:299-310.
  48. Kontogiorgos ED, Nagy WW, Dechow PC, Elsalanty ME, Opperman LA. 2013  Osseointegration of dental implants placed in mandibular bone regenerated by bone transport distraction osteogenesis.  IJOMI 28(3):677-686.
  49. Eid AA, Niu L, Primus CM, Opperman LA, Watanabe I, Pashley DH, Tay RD. 2013 In vitro osteogenic/dentinogenic potential of an experimental calcium aluminosilicate cement.  JOE J Endod 39(9): 1161-1166.
  50. Liu S-Y, Xu H, Kontogiorgos ED, Misner K, Whittington P, Buschang PH, Dechow PC, Opperman LA. 2013 Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 stimulates bone formation during inter-frontal suture expansion in rabbits.  Am J Orthod Dent Orthop 144:210-217.
  51. Ruso S, Campbell PM, Rossmann J, Opperman LA, Taylor RW, Buschang PH. 2014  Bone response to buccal tooth movements - with and without flapless alveolar decortication.  Eur J Orthod 36(6):613-623.
  52. Derkson RB, Kontogiogos ED, Dechow PC, Opperman LA.  2014  A pilot histological comparison of bone-to-implant contact between phosphate-coated and control titanium implants in the canine model.  Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 29: 203-210.
  53. McBride MD, Campbell PM, Opperman LA, Dechow PC, Buschang PH.  2014 How does the amount of surgical insult affect bone around moving teeth?  Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 145 (4S): S92-S99.
  54. Komabayashi T, Wadajkar A, Santimano S, Ahn C, Zhu Q, Opperman LA, Bellinger LL, Yang J, Nguyen KT.  2014.  Preliminary study of light-cured hydrogel for endodontic drug delivery vehicle.  J Invest Clin Dental  [Epub ahead of print].
  55. Kramer PR, Woodmansey KF, White R, Primus CM, Opperman LA. 2014. Capping a pulpotomy with calcium aluminosilicate cement: Comparison to Mineral Trioxide Aggregates.  J Endod 40(9):1429-34.
  56. Kohout GD, He J, Primus CM, Schneiderman E, Opperman LA,  Woodmansey KF.  2015.  Comparison of Quick-Set and MTA root-end fillings for the regeneration of apical tissues in dogs.  J Endod 41(2): 248-52.
  57. El-Salanty ME, Malavia V, Zakhary I, Mulone T., Kontogiorgos ED, Dechow PC, Opperman LA. 2015.  Dentate transport discs can be used to reconstruct large segmental mandibular defects.  J Oral Maxillofac Surg 73(4): 745-58.
  58. Woodmansey KF, Kohout GD, Primus CM, Schneiderman E, Opperman LA 2015 Canine Histology of Quick-Set and MTA Pulpotomies. J Endod 41(10):1626–1630.
  59. Yang X, Yan W, Tian Y, Ma P, Opperman LA, Wang X 2015 FAM20C is the Primary but not the Only Kinase for the SIBLINGs in Bone. FASEB J Aug 31. pii: fj.15-273607. [Epub ahead of print].
  60. McMichael GE, Primus CM, Opperman LA 2016 Dentinal Tubule Penetration of Tricalcium Silicate Sealers. J Endod 42:632–636.
  61. Pulver R, Campbell PM, Opperman LA, Buschang PH 2016 Miniscrew assisted slow expansion of mature rabbit sutures. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2016;150:303-312.
  62. Gharpure P, Kontogiorgos ED, Pryor L, Opperman LA, Ross CF, Strait DS, Smith A, Wang QI, Wang Q Dechow PC 2016 Elastic Properties of Chimpanzee Craniofacial Cortical Bone. Anat Rec (In Press).
  63. Kontogiorgos ED, Gharpure P, Iheanacho EO, Gonzales CJ, Opperman LA 2016 Preclinical evaluation of a crown splinted custom root shaped implant. Int J Maxillofac Implants (In Press).
  64. Pryor L, Smith A; Ledogar J, Strait DS, Ross CF, Wang Q Opperman LA, Dechow PC. 2016 Internal Bone Architecture in the Zygoma of Human and Pan. Anat Rec (In Press).