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Shankar Rengasamy Venugopalan

Name: Shankar Rengasamy Venugopalan

Title: Associate Professor 

Focus Area: Clinician-Scientist


Office Number: (319) 353–5806

Campus Address:  S232 DSB

Dr. Shankar Rengasamy Venugopalan is as an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthodontics, University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics. He completed his DDS from the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2017. He also completed a certificate in Orthodontics and a DMSc at Harvard University in 2014, and he was a research scholar at the Forsyth Institute that same year. In 2010, he earned his PhD in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University Health Science Center. Prior to that, he also earned his bachelor's degree in dental science from the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University in Chennai, India in 2003.

Dr. Rengasamy Venugopalan’s areas of expertise are genomics of congenital craniofacial disorders, craniofacial developmental biology, mineralized tissue biology, and clinical orthodontics. He studies the genomics and epigenetics of craniofacial congenital defects and diseases 

Craniofacial Microsomia: Craniofacial microsomia patients (incidence of 1 in ~3,500-5,600) present with significant facial asymmetry due to ipsilateral defects of the external ear, middle ear, temporomandibular joint, mandible, muscles of mastication, and facial muscles. Despite the tremendous advances made in identifying the genetic basis of craniofacial anomalies, the underlying genetic cause of CFM remains elusive. We employ next-generation sequencing approach in CFM trios to identify the inherited and de novo genetic variants.

Ameloblastomas: These are a group of common odontogenic tumors. These aggressive tumors present as slow growing painless cortical expansion of the jaw. Because of a lack of early diagnostic tools and high recurrence rates, there exist a need for genetic markers to identify ameloblastoma very early. We employ whole-exome sequencing technique to identify the unique somatic variants in the ameloblastoma histological subtypes. 

Peri-implantitis: While dental implants are considered a major therapeutic breakthrough in restoring lost dentition and its function, peri-implant diseases caused by complex etiologic mechanisms present a major challenge to clinicians and researchers alike. Peri-implantitis, like periodontitis, is characterized by loss of alveolar bone beyond the physiological limits, which makes them an irreversible condition and a complex problem to tackle. A thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying peri-implant pathologies is a pre-requisite for developing novel and predictable preventive or therapeutic approaches. There is a significant knowledge gap in the epigenetic mechanisms regulating peri-implantitis. We employ whole genome bisulfite sequencing and histone modification assays to understand the epigenetic regulation of peri-implantitis.