Dr. Napierala’s research is focused on molecular determinants of disturbed development and homeostasis of mineralizing tissues, and in regeneration and repair of these tissues. Dr. Napierala studies diseases associated with defective endochondral ossification, formation of dental tissues, bone mineral density and ectopic mineralization. She is interested in the role of the TRPS1 transcription factor in skeletal and dental development and homeostasis, and in the mineralization process. Related to this, Dr. Napierala studies the phosphate signaling pathway in mineralizing cells and the biogenesis of matrix vesicles, which play important role in the initiation of the mineralization process of bone, cartilage and dentin, and have been implicated in vascular calcification.
Dr. Dobrawa Napierala is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oral Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department of Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry. She also is a faculty member of the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Dr. Napierala earned her PhD degree in Biochemistry from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland. She obtained a postdoctoral training in the field of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex. Dr. Napierala joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh in 2016.
Dr. Dobrawa Napierala's scientific interests are the understanding of molecular determinants of development and homeostasis of mineralizing tissues; and the regulation of the mineralization process at the molecular and cellular level. In particular, she is interested in diseases associated with defective endochondral ossification, reduced bone mineral density, tooth formation, and ectopic mineralization. She studies phosphate signaling in physiologic and pathologic mineralization, molecular mechanisms of biogenesis of matrix vesicles and molecular networks of the Trps1 transcription factor in skeletal and dental tissues. The approach she takes to answer scientific questions related to molecular pathology underlying human disorders affecting skeletal and dental tissues combines analyses of knock out and transgenic mice as disease models with in vitro studies of molecular interactions in a specific cellular context. The ultimate goal of Dr. Napierala’s research is to translate the fundamental research findings into therapeutic approaches for regeneration and repair of skeletal and dental tissues.
Education & Training
Ph.D. Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Poznan, Poland, MSc Biotechnology, A. Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland