Yvonne Hernandez-Kapila, DDS, PhD

Yvonne Hernandez-Kapila, DDS, PhD

Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School of Dentistry, UCLA





Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cell Biology, University of California, San Francisco, 1998


PhD, University of California, San Francisco, 1997
DDS, BS, University of California, San Francisco, 1990
BA, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1986

Contact Information

Scientific Interests

Yvonne Hernandez-Kapila is a clinician scientist with over 25 years of experience studying the basic, translational, and clinical aspects of oral and head and neck cancer using in vitro and in vivo models and human clinical studies. Early work by the Hernandez-Kapila lab focused on understanding the basic extracellular matrix processes and host-microbial mechanisms that govern oral cancer carcinogenesis. Hernandez-Kapila made important discoveries focused on anoikis mechanisms and Sirtuin biology in oral cancer. Recent research has extended to omics approaches and biomarker discovery for oral cancer using metabolomic and oral microbiome platforms. The lab now focuses on host-microbial interactions and the novel role of bacteriocins/antimicrobial therapy in oral cancer.

Highlighted Publications

Gao L, Kuraji R, Zhang MJ, Martinez A, Radaic A, Kamarajan P, Le C, Zhan L, Ye C, Range H, Sailani MR, Kapila YL. Nisin probiotic prevents inflammatory bone loss while promoting reparative proliferation and a healthy microbiome. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes, 8, 45 (2022). doi.org/10.1038/s41522-022-00307-x

Kamarajan P, Ateia I, Shin JM, Fenno JC, Le C, Zhan L, Chang A, Darveau R, Kapila YL. Periodontal pathogens promote cancer aggressivity via TLR/MyD88 triggered activation of Integrin/FAK signaling that is therapeutically reversible by a probiotic bacteriocin. PLoS Pathog. 2020 Oct 1;16(10):e1008881. PMCID: PMC7529280.

Kamarajan P, Hayami T, Matte B, Liu Y, Danciu T, Ramamoorthy A, Worden F, Kapila S, Kapila Y. 2015. Nisin ZP, a Bacteriocin and Food Preservative, Inhibits Head and Neck Cancer Tumorigenesis and Prolongs Survival. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 1;10(7):e0131008. PMCID: PMC4489501

Radaic A, Malone E, Kamarajan P, Kapila YL. Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Loaded with Nisin (SLN-Nisin) are More Effective Than Free Nisin as Antimicrobial, Antibiofilm, and Anticancer Agents. J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2022 Apr 1;18(4):1227-1235. doi: 10.1166/jbn.2022.3314. PMID: 35854440; PMCID: PMC9741812

Kamarajan P, Rajendiran TM, Kinchen J, Bermúdez M, Danciu T, Kapila YL. 2017. Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Metabolism Draws on Glutaminolysis, and Stemness Is Specifically Regulated by Glutaminolysis via Aldehyde Dehydrogenase. J Proteome Res. 2017 Mar 3;16(3):1315-1326. PMCID: PMC5417077