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Francesco Chiappelli

Francesco Chiappelli

Honorary President of the Brazilian Society of EBD/CER, Awards “Champion” for EBD, American Dental Association
UCLA School of Dentistry


Francesco Chiappelli, Ph.D.; AAAS Fellow; Fulbright Alumnus, is a Professor in the Section of Oral Biology in the Division of Oral Biology and Medicine.

Research Interest

Professor Chiappelli’s research interest for the last three decades has been mind-body interaction, and specifically the role of the psychoneuroendocrine system in regulating cellular immune surveillance. As a system biologist, he has focused on the role of stress on the responses of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, for example, and its modulatory effects on T cell activation, proliferation, regulation and function. His fundamental hypothesis is that external stressors, such as pain, alcohol, nicotine or drugs of abuse, as well as perceived stress and anxiety put a serious load on the CD4+ T cells of the immune system, and prevent them from functioning well in the defense against infection and cancer. Case in point, in the context of dental research, he has examined the role of mind-body interactions in “stress-related” oral ulcers, including canker sores (recurrent aphthous stomatis) and oral lichen planus. As the field of osteoimmunology emerged about 15 years ago, which establishes the intertwined relationships between cellular immune processes and bone metabolism (i.e., bone formation and bone resorption), Dr. Chiappelli launched a novel direction in his research interest that could be termed “osteo-psychoneuroendocrine-immunology”, which he described in his monograph “Osteoimmunopathology” (Springer, 2011). Stemming from his graduate training in research methodology and biostatistics, Professor Chiappelli became interested and involved in the novel field of evidence-based dentistry (EBD) even before the American Dental Association (ADA) formerly defined it in 1999. During the last fifteen years, Dr. Chiappelli has established himself as a national and an international recognized expert in the field. He was named ADA “Champion” for EBD, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with a special mention “for his contribution to the establishment of the field of evidence-based dentistry”, and is a Fulbright Specialist and Scholar in the broad field of evidence-based health care, and EBD specifically. The focus of Professor Chiappelli’s research in EBD is the pursuit of excellence in the research methodology of this new science: how can we truly obtain the “best available” evidence, how can we obtain reliable assessments and analyses of it, how can we best disseminate this information to the stakeholders, and how can we best integrate the “best available” evidence in evidence-based clinical decision-making, thus fully empowering patients and caregivers and ensuring increased health literacy, access to care and effectiveness. The fundamental hypothesis of his work in that domain, that evidence-based dentistry is patient-centered, effectiveness-focused and research-directed (i.e., follows the hypothesis-driven scientific process), has been described and discussed in depth in his several books (three monographs, three edited books) on the topic: Chiappelli F. The Science of Research Synthesis: A Manual of Evidence-Based Research for the Health Sciences – Implications and Applications in Dentistry (NovaScience Publisher, 2008); Chiappelli F. Sustainable Evidence-Based Decision-Making. (NovaScience Publisher, 2010); Chiappelli F. et al. (co-Eds) Understanding Evidence-Based Practice: Toward Optimizing Clinical Outcomes. (Springer–Verlag, Heidelberg, 2010); Rastogi S, Chiappelli F, et al. (co-Eds). Evidence based practice in complementary and alternative medicine: Protocols, problem and potential in Ayurveda. (Springer–Verlag, 2012); Chiappelli F et al. (co-Eds). Comparative Effectiveness and Efficacy Research and Analysis for Practice (CEERAP): Applications for Treatment Options in Health Care. (Springer–Verlag, 2012); Chiappelli F. Fundamentals of Evidence-based Health Care and Translational Science. (Springer–Verlag, 2014).