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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine

David O. Quissell

Professor Emeritus

David Quissell
David O. Quissell

Craniofacial Biology
2367 Hawken Drive
Castle Rock CO 80109

Phone: 303-517-0577


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin
  • Postdoctoral Training, University of Wisconsin

Honors and Awards:

  • National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Research Scholar Award
  • National Institutes of Health; Oral Biology and Medicine Study Section
  • Associate Editor, Critical Reviews in Oral Biology and Medicine, CRC Press, Inc.
  • Salivary Researcher of the Year, IADR/AADR Salivary Gland Group
  • Outstanding Basic Science Instructor, Dental Hygiene Class
  • Rocky Mountain Study Club Professor of the Year
  • Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Saliva and Salivary Glands
  • Chancellor's Award for Promoting and Supporting Diversity

Departmental Affiliations:

  • Craniofacial Biology, School of Dental Medicine
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, SOM
  • Pediatrics, SOM

Graduate Program Affiliations:

  • Cancer Biology, pending
  • Molecular Biology

Research Interests:

Salivary Gland Research & Native American Oral Health

Salivary gland hypofunction is a major oral health problem that affects the quality of life for several million people in the USA. A variety of conditions can result in the loss of salivary acinar cell secretory function including systemic diseases such as Sjogren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune disease), Head and Neck irradiation, cancer chemotherapy, pharmacological induced xerostomia and oral cancer. All of these disease conditions or medical treatments have the potential to alter normal salivary acinar cell homeostasis and or accelerate the entry of the acinar cells into apoptosis (cell death). A fundamental understanding of the molecular events involved in salivary gland acinar cell apoptosis is required if we are to fully comprehend the specific cellular processes that are involved in the loss of salivary gland structure and function.

Rural Native American preschool children rarely receive dental treatment and as a result have one of the world’s highest prevalence and severity of Early Childhood Caries (ECC). To help eliminate the disparity of preschool dental caries (ECC) on the Native American Reservations, we developed a rural dental oral healthcare model system in which tribal allied health professionals, who have specific training in oral disease prevention, were utilized to implement and sustain an oral disease prevention program focusing on children 3 to 6 years of age.

Recent Publications:

Anderson, S.M., Reyland, M.E., Hunter, S., Barzen, K.A., Diesher, L.M., Quissell, D.O. Etoposide-induced apoptosis in salivary gland acinar cells. Cell Death and Differ. 6: 454-462, 1999.

Reyland, M.E., Anderson, S.M., Matassa, A., Barzen, K.A. and Quissell, D.O. Protein kinase C-? is essential for etoposide-induced apoptosis in salivary acinar cells. J. Biol. Chem. 274: 19115-191123, 1999.

Reyland, M.E., Barzen, K.A., Anderson, S.M., Quissell, D.O., and Matassa, A.A. Activation of protein kinase C is sufficient to induce an apoptotic program in salivary gland acinar cells. Cell Death Differ. 7: 1200-1209, 2000

Catalanotto, F.A., Quissell, D.O., Rekow, D., Van Dyke, T.E. Local, regional and global partnerships in developing a research program. J. Dent. Res. 66: 942-948, 2002

Barroso, A.S., Quissell, D.O., Colepicolo, P. Modulation of SOD activity in rat submandibular glands. Arch Oral Biol. 48: 133-139, 2003

Limesand, K.H., Barzen, K.A., Quissell, D.O., Anderson, S.M. Synergistic suppression of apoptosis in salivary acinar cells by ICF1 and EGF. Cell Death Differ. 10:345-355, 2003

Limesand, K.H., Barzen, K.A., Sanders, L.A., Sclafani, R.A., Raynolds, M.V., Reyland, M.E., Anderson, S.A. and Quissell, D.O. Characterization of rat parotid and submandibular acinar cell apoptosis in primary culture. In Vitro Dev Biol Anim. 139:170-177, 2003

Carneiro, S.M., Zablith, M.B., Kerchove, C.M., Moura-da-Siva, A.M., Quissell, D.O., Markus, R.P., Yamanouye, N. Venom production in long-term primary culture of secretory cells of the Bothrops jararaca venom gland. Toxicon: :1-8, 2005

Preventing Caries in Preschoolers: Successful Initiation of an Innovative Community-Based Clinical Trial in Navajo Nation Head Start. David O. Quissell, Lucinda L. Bryant, Patricia A. Braun, Diana Cudeii, Nikolas Johs, Vongphone Smith, Carmen George, William G. Henderson, Judith Albino  Contemporary Clinical Trials 2014 37: 242 - 251

Factors Associated with Oral Health Status in American Indian Children. Tamanna Tiwari, David O. Quissell, William G. Henderson, Jacob F. Thomas, Lucinda L. Bryant, Judith E. Albino Submitted for publication

Oral Health Status in Navajo Nation Head Start Children. Terrence S. Batliner, David O. Quissell, Anne Wilson, Tamanna Tiwari, Deborah Glueck, William G. Henderson, Jacob F. Thomas, Patricia Braun, Diana Cudeii, Judith Albino Submitted for publication

Validation of Sense of Coherence of American Indian Parents. Judith Albino, Allie Buti, William G. Henderson, Tamanna Tiwari, Angela G. Brega, Jacob F. Thomas, Lucinda L. Bryant, Patricia A. Braun, David O. Quissell Submitted for publication

Validation of a Pediatric Oral Health-Related Quality of Life Scale in Navajo Children. Patricia A. Braun, Kimberly E. Lind, William G. Henderson, Angela G. Brega, David O. Quissell, Judith Albino Submitted for publication

Learning from Caries-Free Children in a High Caries American Indian Population. Judith Albino, Tamanna Tiwari, William G. Henderson, Jacob F. Thomas, Lucinda L. Bryant, Terry Batliner, Patricia A. Braun, Anne Wilson, David O. Quissell Submitted for Publication