Niki Moutsopoulos, DDS, PhD

Senior Investigator

Oral Immunity & Infection Section


Building 30, Room 327
30 Convent Dr MSC 4320
Bethesda MD 20892-4320


Research Topics

Dr. Moutosopoulos’ research is focused on oral-barrier immunity. Studies implement a bedside-to-bench approach and aim to understand the molecular and cellular basis of oral immunity in health, and in the common inflammatory disease of periodontitis. Periodontitis is a common inflammatory disease in humans, leading to destruction of tooth-supporting structures and tooth loss. Periodontal inflammation/dysbiosis is also associated with infections in other parts of the body, as well as systemic inflammatory conditions, which underscores the possibility of common mechanisms of susceptibility or disease triggering. Therefore, understanding mechanisms involved in the susceptibility and pathogenesis of periodontitis is not only critical for understanding the disease itself, but may provide insights into shared mechanisms among inflammatory diseases. Understanding the mechanisms that microbial triggers and host elements use to regulate oral immunity in health and disease is the focus of our research program.


Dr. Moutsopoulos received a D.D.S. degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Greece in 1998, completed her specialization in periodontology at the University of Maryland, and obtained a Ph.D. in immunology while working in the laboratory of Dr. Sharon Wahl at NIDCR. Dr. Moutsopoulos has worked as a clinical fellow at the NIH under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Holland (LCID/NIAID). Since 2010, Dr. Moutsopoulos has been an independent investigator building a clinical and translational program focused on basic oral immunology and susceptibility to the common human inflammatory disease periodontitis through the study of patients with monogenic immune defects.​

Selected Publications

  1. Silva LM, Doyle AD, Greenwell-Wild T, Dutzan N, Tran CL, Abusleme L, Juang LJ, Leung J, Chun EM, Lum AG, Agler CS, Zuazo CE, Sibree M, Jani P, Kram V, Martin D, Moss K, Lionakis MS, Castellino FJ, Kastrup CJ, Flick MJ, Divaris K, Bugge TH, Moutsopoulos NM. Fibrin is a critical regulator of neutrophil effector function at the oral mucosal barrier. Science. 2021;374(6575):eabl5450.
  2. Williams DW, Greenwell-Wild T, Brenchley L, Dutzan N, Overmiller A, Sawaya AP, Webb S, Martin D, NIDCD/NIDCR Genomics and Computational Biology Core., Hajishengallis G, Divaris K, Morasso M, Haniffa M, Moutsopoulos NM. Human oral mucosa cell atlas reveals a stromal-neutrophil axis regulating tissue immunity. Cell. 2021;184(15):4090-4104.e15.
  3. Moutsopoulos NM, Zerbe CS, Wild T, Dutzan N, Brenchley L, DiPasquale G, Uzel G, Axelrod KC, Lisco A, Notarangelo LD, Hajishengallis G, Notarangelo LD, Holland SM. Interleukin-12 and Interleukin-23 Blockade in Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency Type 1. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(12):1141-1146.
  4. Dutzan N, Abusleme L, Bridgeman H, Greenwell-Wild T, Zangerle-Murray T, Fife ME, Bouladoux N, Linley H, Brenchley L, Wemyss K, Calderon G, Hong BY, Break TJ, Bowdish DME, Lionakis MS, Jones SA, Trinchieri G, Diaz PI, Belkaid Y, Konkel JE, Moutsopoulos NM. On-going Mechanical Damage from Mastication Drives Homeostatic Th17 Cell Responses at the Oral Barrier. Immunity. 2017;46(1):133-147.
  5. Dutzan N, Kajikawa T, Abusleme L, Greenwell-Wild T, Zuazo CE, Ikeuchi T, Brenchley L, Abe T, Hurabielle C, Martin D, Morell RJ, Freeman AF, Lazarevic V, Trinchieri G, Diaz PI, Holland SM, Belkaid Y, Hajishengallis G, Moutsopoulos NM. A dysbiotic microbiome triggers TH17 cells to mediate oral mucosal immunopathology in mice and humans. Sci Transl Med. 2018;10(463).

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Thursday, November 9, 2023