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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


Elected "Salivary Gland Researcher of the Year"
Sponsor: IADR Salivary Gland Research Group

International Association of Dental Research Innovation in Oral Care Award
Sponsor: International Association of Dental Research

1987 - 1990
Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
Sponsor: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany

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Journal Articles

Song Y, Uchida H, Sharipol A, Piraino L, Mereness JA, Ingalls MH, Rebhahn J, Newlands SD, DeLouise LA, Ovitt CE, Benoit DSW. "Development of a functional salivary gland tissue chip with potential for high-content drug screening." Communications biology.. 2021 Mar 19; 4(1):361. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Luitje ME, Israel AK, Cummings MA, Giampoli EJ, Allen PD, Newlands SD, Ovitt CE. "Long-term maintenance of acinar cells in human submandibular glands after radiation therapy." International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics.. 2020 Nov 9; Epub 2020 Nov 09.

Ovitt CE, Benoit DSW, Aure MH, Joe DS, Schutrum BE, Weng PL, Felong TJ, Sharipol A, Shubin AD. "Stress or injury induces cellular plasticity in salivary gland acinar cells." Cell and tissue research.. 2020 Jan 4; Epub 2020 Jan 04.