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Noel Childers, PhD

Noel Childers, PhD
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Office: SDB 304
Phone: (205) 934-3230

Dr. Noel K. Childers, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, received his B.S. degree in Chemistry at Auburn University in 1976. He obtained a D.D.S. degree from Emory University School of Dentistry in 1979. After 3 years of private dental practice, he entered and completed a residency in Pediatric Dentistry (M.S. 1985 University of Alabama School of Dentistry). In 1986 he received a Physician’s Scientist Award and completed his Ph.D. in Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990. He has been a on the faculty at the School of Dentistry since 1987. He is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. Currently Dr. Childers holds the Joseph F. Volker Endowed Chair and is the Chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Research/Clinical Interest:

Development Of A Vaccine For The Prevention Of Dental Caries
Dr. Noel K. Childers main research interest is the immunobiology of dental caries. He is currently involved in investigations aimed at identifying safe and effective mucosal immunization delivery systems. Specifically, his studies examine the characteristics of liposomes that are important in potentiating immune responses to orally or nasally administered Streptococcus mutans antigens. This involves in vitro studies of the physical characteristics of liposomal antigen preparations as well as in vivo studies into the uptake and processing of liposome preparations in rats. Following animals studies of the efficacy of liposomal S. mutans antigen vaccines, Dr. Childers has initiated human FDA Phase I clinical trials studying the safety and immunogenicity of liposomal oral and nasal immunization. The overall goal of Dr. Childers studies are to identify a safe and effective oral immunization strategy which is protective against dental caries.Clinical research interests also include studies to determine risk factors for oral complications in children with cancer and HIV infection. In these studies, Dr. Childers has combined clinical and research training to assess various clinical and immunological factors involved in the development of oral lesions in medically compromised children. The goal of this research is to develop and test protocols that will prevent the occurrence or severity of oral complications in children identified to be at risk.