Immunology  Back to Main

Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SDB 312 Zip 0007
Phone  (205) 934-3230
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Center  UWIRC Microbiome Center  UWIRC Microbiome Center Professor Emeritus
Primary  Pediatric Dentistry  Pediatric Dentistry Professor Emeritus

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Noel K. Childers, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, received his B.S. degree in Chemistry at Auburn University in 1976. He obtained a D.D.S. degree from Emory University School of Dentistry in 1979. After 3 years of private dental practice, he entered and completed a residency in Pediatric Dentistry (M.S. 1985 University of Alabama School of Dentistry). In 1986 he received a Physician’s Scientist Award and completed his Ph.D. in Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990. He has been a on the faculty at the School of Dentistry since 1987. He is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. Currently Dr. Childers holds the Joseph F. Volker Endowed Chair and is the Chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Society of Microbiology  
International Association of Dental Research 

Research/Clinical Interest
Development Of A Vaccine For The Prevention Of Dental Caries
Dr. Noel K. Childers main research interest is the immunobiology of dental caries. He is currently involved in investigations aimed at identifying safe and effective mucosal immunization delivery systems. Specifically, his studies examine the characteristics of liposomes that are important in potentiating immune responses to orally or nasally administered Streptococcus mutans antigens. This involves in vitro studies of the physical characteristics of liposomal antigen preparations as well as in vivo studies into the uptake and processing of liposome preparations in rats. Following animals studies of the efficacy of liposomal S. mutans antigen vaccines, Dr. Childers has initiated human FDA Phase I clinical trials studying the safety and immunogenicity of liposomal oral and nasal immunization. The overall goal of Dr. Childers studies are to identify a safe and effective oral immunization strategy which is protective against dental caries.Clinical research interests also include studies to determine risk factors for oral complications in children with cancer and HIV infection. In these studies, Dr. Childers has combined clinical and research training to assess various clinical and immunological factors involved in the development of oral lesions in medically compromised children. The goal of this research is to develop and test protocols that will prevent the occurrence or severity of oral complications in children identified to be at risk.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Makhija SK, Childers NK, Chafin T, Dorantes CE, Johnson LS, Dasanayake. 2006. Evaluation of Initial Caries Score and Caries Incidence in a Public Health Sealant Program: A Retrospective Study. 2006, Pediatr Dent. Vol. 25 (5):420-421.   
Childers, N.K., Li, F., Dasanayake, A.P., Li, Y., Kirk, K., Michalek, S.M. 2006. Immune Response in Humans to a Nasal Boost with Streptococcus mutans Antigens. 2006, Oral Microbiology & Immunology, Vol. 21:309-313.   
Dorantes, C., Childers, N.K., Makhija, S., Elliott, R., Chafin, T., Dasanayake, A., 2005. Assessment of Retention Rates and the Clinical Benefits of a Community Sealant Program. 2005, Pediatric Dentistry, Vol. 21(3):212-216.    
Menendez, A., Li, F., Michalek, S.M., Kirk, K., Makhija, S.K., Childers, N.K., 2005. Comparative Analysis of the Antibacterial Effects of Combined Mouthrinses on Streptococcus mutans. Oral Microbiol Immunol 2005: 20:31-34.   
Russell, M.W., Childers, N.K., Michalek, S.M., Smith, D. J., Taubman, M.A., 2004. A Caries Vaccine? The State of the Science of Immunization Against Dental Caries. Caries Research 2004:38:230-235.   
Dasanayake, A.P., Li, Y., Kirk, K., Bronstein, J., Childers, N.K., 2003. Future restorative cost savings related to dental sealants: An 8-year retrospective follow-up. Pediatric Dentistry. 2003: 25: 572-576   
Childers, N.K., Greenleaf, C., Li, F., Dasanayake, A., Powell, W.D., Michalek, S., 2003. Effect of age on immunoglobulin A subclass distribution in human parotid saliva. Oral Micro. Immunol. 2003: 18: 298-301   
Li, F., Michalek, S.M., Li, Y., Kirk, K., and Childers, N.K. 2003. Intranasal immunization of humans with Streptococcus mutans antigens: Low dose differentiates responses to soluble versus liposomal antigens. Oral Microbio. Immunol. 2003: 18: 271-277   
Dasanayake, A.P., Wadhawan, S., Li, Y., Kirk, K., Bronstein, J., Childers, N.K. 2002. Dental service utilization by Alabama adolescent Medicaid clients. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 30:369-376.   
Childers, N.K., Tong, G., Li, F., Dasanayake, A.P., Kirk, K., and Michalek, S.M. 2002; Humans immunized with Streptococcus mutans antigen by mucosal routes. J. Dent. Res. 81:48-52.   
Philip, S., Dasanayake, A.P., Li, Y., Kirk, K., Bronstein, J., and Childers, N.K. 2000. Factors related to dental sealant utilization among Alabama Medicaid children. Pediatric Dentistry 23:401-406   
Childers, N.K., Powell, W.D., Tong, G., Kirk, K., Wiatrak, B., and Michalek, S.M. 2001. Human salivary immunoglobulin and antigen-specific antibody activity after tonsillectomy. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. 16:265-269.    
Childers, N.K., Miller, K.L., Tong, G., Llarena, J.C., Greenway, T., Ulrich, J.T., and Michalek, S.M. 2000 Adjuvant activity of monophosphoryl lipid A for nasal and oral immunization with soluble or liposome associated antigen. Infect. Immun. 68:5509-5516.   
Sanchez, O.M., and Childers, N.K. 2000. Anticipatory guidance in infant oral health: Rationale and recommendations. American Family Physician 61:115-120.   
Childers, N.K., Tong, G., Mitchell, S., Kirk, K., Russell, M.W., and Michalek, S.M. 1999. A controlled clinical study of the effect of nasal immunization with a Streptococcus mutans antigen alone or incorporated into liposomes on induction of immune responses. Infect. Immun. 67:618-623.   
Childers, N.K., Tong, G., and Michalek, S.M. 1997. Nasal immunization of humans with dehydrated liposomes containing Streptococcus mutans antigen. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. 12:329-335.   
Yuan, S.-H., Liu, P.-R., and Childers, N.K. 1997. An alternative restorative method for Regional Odontodysplasia: A case report. Pediatric Dent.19:421-424.   
Sanchez, O.M., Childers, N.K., Fox, L., and Bradley, E. 1997. Physician's attitude towards pediatric preventive dental care. Pediatric Dent. 19:377-383.   
Hatta, H., Tsuda, K., Ozeki, M., Kim, M., Yamamoto, T., Otake, S., Hirasawa, M., Katz, J., Childers, N.K., and Michalek, S.M. 1997. Passive immunization against dental plaque formation in humans: Effect of a mouth rinse containing egg yolk antibodies (IgY) specific to Streptococcus mutans. Caries Res. 31:268-274.   
Childers, N.K., Zhang, S., Harokopakis, E., Harmon, C. and Michalek, S.M. 1996. Properties of oral liposome-Streptococcus mutans glucosyltransferase (GTF) vaccines for practical use and for effective induction of protective immune responses. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. 11:172-180.   
Huang, W.-J., Childers, N.K. 1995. Clinical aid in placing brass wire to treat ectopically erupting permanent first molars. Pediatric Dent. 17:122-23.   
Harokopakis, E., Childers, N.K., Michalek, S.M., Zhang, S.M., and Tomasi, M. 1995. Conjugation of cholera toxin or its B subunit to liposomes for targeted delivery of antigens. J. Immunol. Methods 185:31-42.   
Childers, N.K., Zhang, S.S., and Michalek, S.M. 1994. Oral immunization of humans with dehydrated liposomes containing Streptococcus mutans glucosyltransferase (GTF) induces salivary IgA2 antibody responses. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. 9:146-153.   
Childers, N.K., Stinnett, E.A., Wheeler, P., Wright, J.T., Castleberry, R.P., and Dasanayake, A.P. 1992. Oral complications in children with cancer. Oral Surg., Oral Med., Oral Pathol., 75:41-47.   
Stinnett, E.A., Childers, N.K., Wright, J.T., Rodu, B.K., and Bradley, E.L. 1992. The detection of oral candida in pediatric leukemia patients. Pediatric Dentistry, 14:236-239.   
Childers, N.K., Michalek, S.M., Pritchard, D.G. and McGhee, J.R. 1991. Mucosal and systemic responses to an oral liposome-Streptococcus mutans carbohydrate vaccine in humans. Reg. Immunol. 3:289-96.   
Wright, J.T., Childers, N.K., Evans, K.L., Johnson, L.B. and Fine, J-D. 1991: Salivary function of individuals with hereditary Epidermolysis Bullosa. Oral Surg., Oral Med., Oral Pathol. 71:553-559.   
Jackson, S., Mestecky, J., Childers, N.K. and Michalek, S.M. 1990. Liposomes containing anti-idiotypic antibodies: An oral vaccine to induce protective secretory immune responses specific for pathogens of mucosal surfaces. Infect. Immun., 58:1932-1936.   
Childers, N.K., Denys, F.R., McGee, N.F. and Michalek, S.M. 1990. Ultrastructural study of liposome uptake by M cells of rat Peyer's patch: An oral vaccine system for delivery of purified antigen. Reg. Immunol., 3:8-16.   
Childers, N.K. and Caufield, P.W. 1990. In vitro susceptibility of mutans streptococci to antimicrobial substances as determined by a membrane transfer technique. Antimicrob. Agents Chemotherapy. 34:153-155.   
Childers, N.K., Michalek, S.M., Eldridge, J.H., Denys, F.R., Berry, A.K. and McGhee, J.R. 1989. Characterization of liposomes suspensions by flow cytometry. J. Immunol. Methods. 119:135-143.   
Caufield, P.W., Allen, D.N. and Childers, N.K. 1987. In vitro susceptibilities of suspected periodontopathic anaerobes as determined by membrane transfer assay. Antimicrob. Agents Chemotherapy. 31:1989-1993.   
Childers, N.K. and Wright, J.T. 1986. Dental and craniofacial anomalies of Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome. J. Oral Pathol. 15:534-539.   
Childers, N.K. 1986. Treatment of avulsed teeth. Ala. J. Med. Sci. 23:200.   
Caufield, P.W., Childers, N.K., Allen, D.N. and Hansen, J.B. 1985. Distinct bacteriocin activities associated with different groups of Streptococcus mutans plasmids. Infect. Immun. 48:51.