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Dr. Antonio (Tony) Amelio recently began his joint appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Dental Ecology at the UNC School of Dentistry and as associate member at UNC Lineberger.


“I feel fortunate to join the outstanding faculty here at UNC-Chapel Hill and look forward to building my research program here,” said Amelio. “I’m honored to be part of this exciting time of growth and expansion within the School of Dentistry and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. My lab recently developed novel LumiFluor® reporters, suitable for non-invasive, high resolution in vivo optical imaging of molecular and cellular processes, and we have started using these reporters to monitor the development of oral, head and neck cancers. So I was also excited to learn about the technologies available within the new Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC) and look forward to collaborating with investigators across campus using these new optical reporters in other applications.”

In his role as assistant professor, Amelio will establish his research laboratory in Koury Oral Health Sciences Building and continue progress on his K99/R00 Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Research titled “Convergence of CREB and MYC Pathways in Oncogenesis.” He will also work to establish collaborations with research investigators at LCCC, participating in research and scholarly activities that lead to publications and funded grants. Amelio will also engage in didactic teaching and research mentorship, and participate in committee service.

“I am delighted that Dr. Amelio has joined the research faculty of the department. I know his developing research program will bring great synergy with the clinical and translational head and neck cancer research programs on campus. We are most fortunate to have his expertise and enthusiasm for novel scientific discoveries that will be shared with our graduate students,” said Dr. Lauren L. Patton, professor and chair of the Department of Dental Ecology.

Amelio holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and cell science, a master’s degree in business with a concentration in management from the Warrington College of Business Administration, and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences with a concentration in genetics from the Department of Molecular Genetics and microbiology, all from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. He served as a research associate in The Scripps Research Institute Department of Cancer Biology in Jupiter, Fla. from 2006-08, after which he served as a cancer research fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at Scripps until 2014. During this time he was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, PGA National Cancer Research Award, and a Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Research to support his research efforts.

Amelio has been an invited speaker for numerous events, most recently including the NIH Workshop on Salivary Gland Tumor Research in Bethesda, Md. At the University of Florida, he served as a teaching assistant for microbiology and immunology lab courses as well as mentoring colleagues from pre-medical students to post docs.