The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
School of Dentistry
Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences
At the intersection of dentistry and neurology, Dr. Jeter focuses on oral health in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Her group conducts clinical and translational research, working directly with patients. By measuring drooling and dysphagia (swallowing difficulty), the laboratory considers how these symptoms affect oral bacteria composition and risk of aspiration pneumonia. These biomarkers, when validated in larger patient populations, could be used to develop non-invasive diagnostic tests for screening, monitoring and treating the oral environment of patients. These important steps protect patients with Parkinson’s disease from their top reason for mortality – aspiration pneumonia. Other research interests focus on coordination of care, oral microbiome impacts on C.elegans (worm) models of Parkinson’s disease, and use of an electronic app to improve oral hygiene of nursing home residents.
Education & Training
Ph.D. - MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School - 2010