Dr. Giancarlo Cuadra

Assistant Professor of Biology

B.A. Binghamton University

Ph.D.  Binghamton University

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Host-Bacteria interactions College of Dentistry, University of Florida.

Giancarlo Cuadra headshot


New Science Building 202




Courses Taught

Principles of Biology III (BIO 152)
Microbiology (225)
Immunology (335)
Host-Bacteria Interactions

Research Interests


My research focuses on the interactions between commensal and pathogenic bacteria with the human host, mainly in (but not limited to) the oral cavity. These interactions, in healthy individuals, remain at homeostasis. However, alterations in these interactions can lead to the onset of oral diseases such as periodontal disease (PD). PD, commonly known as gum disease, has been linked to several other diseases in other parts of the human body, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications and, most recently, Alzheimer’s disease. The main PD-associated pathogen is Porphyromonas gingivalis and has been correlated with all above systemic diseases. My lab has been studying P. gingivalis interactions with macrophages and thus far, our results indicate that P. gingivalis can escape macrophage phagocytosis. We have also been studying the role of oral commensal bacteria in the invasive process of P. gingivalis. Our data suggest that oral commensal bacteria offer protection to the host in the context of P. gingivalis infections. The mechanisms of the above processes remain unknown.

 Another important and novel factor to oral host-bacteria interactions is the aerosol from electronic cigarette devices. To date, there is limited information about the effects of vaping in host-bacteria microenvironments in the mouth. My lab is starting to dissect the role of vaping in commensal and pathogenic bacteria, in the human epithelial tissue and in the host-bacteria interactions. Vaping may contribute to PD, and consequently, systemic diseases.


Main techniques in my lab projects include tissue culturing of human cell-lines, survival assays, bacteria batch culturing, growth curves, serial dilutions, CFU counting, Kirby-Bauer, MIC assays, biofilm biomass assays. In the future we will include other techniques such as fluorescent microscopy, PCR, SDS-PAGE and western blots. 

In addition to the above technical skills, we also provide training in critical thinking and experimental design, quantitative skills, data analysis, reasoning and interpretation, writing and communication skills. 


Students researchers have summarized and presented their work at the American Society of Microbiology meeting in Atlanta, GA (2018) and San Francisco, CA (2019). In addition, students have also presented at the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences meeting in Cedar Crest College (2019) and the Lehigh Valley Molecular and Cell Biology Symposium in Muhlenberg College (2019).



Cuadra GA, Smith MT, Nelson JM, Loh EK, Palazzolo DL. A Comparison of Flavorless Electronic Cigarette-Generated Aerosol and Conventional Cigarette Smoke on the Survival and Growth of Common Oral Commensal Streptococci. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May 14;16(10). pii: E1669. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101669. Epub 2018 May 14. PubMed PMID: 31091650.

Cuadra GA, Frantellizzi AJ, Gaesser KM, Tammariello SP, Ahmed A. Autoinducer-2
detection among commensal oral streptococci is dependent on pH and boric acid. 
Microbiol. 2016 Jul;54(7):492-502. doi: 10.1007/s12275-016-5507-z
. Epub 2016 Jun 
28. PubMed PMID: 27350615.

 Culp DJ, Robinson B, Cash MN, Bhattacharyya I, Stewart C, Cuadra-Saenz G.

Salivary mucin 19 glycoproteins: innate immune functions in Streptococcus
mutans-induced caries in mice and evidence for expression in human saliva. J Biol
Chem. 2015 Jan 30;290(5):2993-3008. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.597906.
 Epub 2014 Dec
15. PubMed PMID: 25512380; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4317041.

Cuadra-Saenz G, Rao DL, Underwood AJ, Belapure SA, Campagna SR, Sun Z,
Tammariello S, Rickard AH. Autoinducer-2 influences interactions amongst pioneer 
colonizing streptococci in oral biofilms. Microbiology. 2012 Jul;158(Pt
7):1783-95. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.057182-0.
 Epub 2012 Apr 5. PubMed PMID: 22493304; 
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3542140.