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Catherine E. Ovitt, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-2920

Fax: (585) 276-0190

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments



Normal function of the salivary glands is critical for the maintenance of oral health. Radiation treatment of patients with head and neck cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome cause cellular damage in the salivary glands that is usually severe, irreversible, and impairs normal function. The long-range goal of this laboratory is to establish therapeutic strategies for repair or regeneration of the salivary glands. Basic research projects in our laboratory include the identification and characterization of progenitor cells involved in salivary gland development and regeneration, and the factors required for differentiation of secretory cells. Applied projects address strategies for protection of the salivary glands from radiation-induced damage, and for promoting regeneration of damaged glands.



BS | University of Connecticut
Arts & Sciences

PhD | Washington University
Molecular Biology

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

1987 - 1997
Postdoctoral Fellow, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany


Journal Articles

Weng PL, Aure MH, Ovitt CE. "Concise Review: A critical evaluation of criteria used to define salivary gland stem cells." Stem cells.. 2019 Jun 7; Epub 2019 Jun 07.

Varghese JJ, Hansen ME, Sharipol A, Ingalls MH, Ormanoski MA, Newlands SD, Ovitt CE, Benoit DSW. "Salivary gland cell aggregates are derived from self-organization of acinar lineage cells." Archives of oral biology.. 2018 Oct 22; 97:122-130. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Varghese JJ, Schmale IL, Mickelson D, Hansen ME, Newlands SD, Benoit DSW, Korshunov VA, Ovitt CE. "Localized Delivery of Amifostine Enhances Salivary Gland Radioprotection." Journal of dental research.. 2018 Oct 0; 97(11):1252-1259. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: The molecular biology of Oct-4 in the early mouse embryo
Book Title: Molecular Human Reproduction
Author List: Ovitt Ce; Scholer HR.
Published By: Molecular Human Reproduction 1998

Chapter Title: Transgenic analysis of embryonic expression using LacZ as a reporter.
Book Title: Microinjection and Transgenesis. Strategies and protocols.
Author List: Ovitt, C.E.; Yeom, Y.I.; Schöler, H.R.
Edited By: Cid-Arregui, A.; García-Carrancá
Published By: Springer-Verlag 1998 in Heidelberg, Berlin

Chapter Title: Oct-4: more than just a POUerful marker of the mammalian germline?
Book Title: APMIS
Author List: Brehm, A.; Ovitt, C.E.; Schöler, H.R.
Published By: APMIS 1998