Shannon Wallet, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Oral Biology

College of Dentistry

2015 Awardee

Shannon Wallet’s research is focused on mechanisms associated with altered innate immune functions, which lead to dysregulated adaptive immunity.  Through her independent and collaborative research programs, she has been involved, at some level, in investigating the basic biology of health, multiple autoimmune conditions, autoinflammation, sepsis, exercise induced inflammation, and, most recently, cancer.

A major focus for Wallet is understanding intestinal immune regulation under conditions of health versus disease, in the context of type 1 diabetes.  Investigations into these interactions have been hindered by a lack of robust primary cell culture techniques, which the Wallet laboratory has most recently been able to overcome.

Wallet also studies altered immunological mechanisms which lead to tissue destruction in the context of periodontal disease.  Here, through funding from the NIDCR and American Diabetes Association (ADA), Wallet has demonstrated that oral epithelial cells play a central role in regulating oral inflammation and its resolution.  She has also begun to decipher osteoclast specific mechanisms associated with excessive bone destruction observed in periodontal disease of individuals with type 1 diabetes.

Wallet also investigates the subversion of immunity involved in pancreatic cancer.  Through funding from the UF-sponsored Team Science Project (UF TSP) and American Cancer Society Career Development Awards (ACS CDA), Wallet has generated data allowing her to develop personalized targeting nanomedicines as well as to decipher the mechanisms associated with pancreatic cancer specific suppression of the innate immune system, allowing for the progression of disease and metastases.

Wallet is keen to utilize her expertise to bring together multiple research communities with the goal of advancing human health.