Norman Vine Professor and Chair Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery University of Pennsylvania Health System
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Email:
Tel. 215.662.6176 Fax 215.349.8595

Dr. Anh Le is Norman-Vine Professor and Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dentistry and the Penn Medicine Health System. She is Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and fellow of the Executive Women Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM).

Dr. Le’s academic career has exemplified a successful integration of clinical, didactic teaching, and research to advance patient health care. Her unique strengths lay on her dual training as both clinician and scientist. She is fully trained in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, has actively participated in pre-doctoral teaching, supervised the training of clinicians and clinicians-scientists, and also has served as Principal Investigator of several active translational and clinical research projects funded through grant awards from the National Institute of Health and other agencies.

Dr. Le is Associate Director of the Center for Innovation and Precision Dentistry at University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on investigating mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from adult oral tissues, specifically gingiva derived MSCs, first described in 2009. Her research highlighted in more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, spans from the development of anti- cancer drugs, development of novel therapeutic approach guided by the multifunctional properties of stem cells, regenerative and immunomodulatory, to repair and reconstruction of pathology, trauma induced orofacial injuries.

Her active backgrounds in both clinical medicine/dentistry and research are distinctive and helps to promote the translation of scientific discoveries into new tools to improve clinical and community health. She has developed several initiatives to enhance collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians within the School of Dentistry, School of Medicine, School of Engineering, and School of Veterinary Medicine, including multidisciplinary symposia at both national and international forum, research consortium, and clinical centers of excellence.


Title: Gingiva-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells & Exosomes for Craniofacial Reconstruction

Orofacial mesenchymal stem cells, easily accessible and enriched in neural crest properties, rapid proliferation, and multipotent differentiation, are excellent candidate cell source for potential application in tissue engineering and regenerative therapy. Our research group was the first to isolate and characterize mesenchymal stem cells from human gingival tissues (GMSCs) and has extensively characterized these unique stem cells for tissue engineering, soft and hard tissue regeneration, and immunomodulatory functions. Patient derived GMSC could be directly induced into multipotent NPCs (iNPCs) under minimally manipulated culture conditions without the introduction of exogenous genes. These induced GMSCs are also capable of releasing extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, with potent biological functions and therapeutic effects in several preclinical animal models, providing a safe cell-free therapeutic approach for tissue regeneration.

Our integrated team of basic scientists, clinicians, and clinician-scientists has reported the use of GMSCs-based therapy to enhance wound healing, promote neural tissue, oral myomucosal tissue, and bone regeneration in several pre-clinical animal models. These proof-of-principle findings have informed the pathways for clinical trials of GMSCs and cell-free derived exosomes in stem cell regenerative therapy for craniofacial reconstruction.


Previous articleChung-Gyu Park
Next articlePhD, MD. Nguyen Thanh Liem