Francesco Chiappelli, Ph.D.

A Short Biography:

Educated in the Swiss, European and Italian school systems, Dr. Chiappelli came to Los Angeles as a young adult. He is fluent in Italian, French, Spanish and English; and is somewhat fluent in German.

Work Titles
UCLA Professor, Dentistry Professor, Associated Clinical Specialties Member, Brain Research Institute Member, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professional Societies:
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow (for contribution to science of evidence-based dentistry)
Fulbright, Roster of Specialists for Comparative Effectiveness Research & Evidence-Based Decisions
American Dental Association, Champion for Evidence-Based Dentistry
Registered (AHRQ) Evidence-Based Decisions in Dentistry Practice-Based Research Network, Founder, Director & Coordinator (
Certification Type:

Contact Information:

Work Phone Number:


Department Address:

13-089 CHS
Campus - 166815

Work Address:

School of Dentistry
Los Angeles, CA 90095

School of Dentistry
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Research Interest:

Personal Statement

Dr. Chiappelli’s research has focused on mind-body interaction for the last 15 years. As a system biologist, he studies the pathways that regulate and modulate cellular immune surveillance. His fundamental hypothesis is that external factors, such as stress, pain, alcohol, nicotine or drugs of abuse, put a serious load on the T cells of the immune system, and prevent them from functioning well in the defense against infection and cancer. Specifically in the context of dentistry, he has examined the role of mind-body interactions in “stress-related” oral ulcers, including canker sores (recurrent aphthous stomatis) and oral lichen planus. He is presently writing a book entitled Stress in Dentistry, which should be published in 2005-2006.

In the last three years, Dr. Chiappelli has developed a second area of research that focuses on evidence-based research in dentistry. He conceptualizes this domain of research as consisting of two fundamental domains: one dedicated to developing, characterizing and establishing the tools and the modalities to perform evidence-based research optimally; the other dedicated to applying these tools in specific clinical domains of dentistry. He works closely with the Cochrane group to develop a consensus of the best available evidence for recurrent aphthous stomatis. He is finalizing a textbook on evidence-based research in dentistry and medicine to be published in 2004-2005.

Detailed Biography:

Dr. Chiappelli has been at UCLA continuously since 1972. He obtained his bachelor's (1975), master's (1981) and Ph.D. degrees (1986) at UCLA, and completed his post-doctoral training in psychoneuroimmunology (mind/body interactions), and fundamental & clinical immunology at UCLA. He has been on the UCLA faculty since. Dr. Chiappelli joined the School of Dentistry faculty in 1994, where he has taught evidence-based dentistry, psychoneuroimmunology, anatomy, ontogeny, osteo-immunology, and advanced seminars in cellular immunology to undergraduate & graduates students, as well as to Residents & fellows, and in continuing education courses. Dr. Chiappelli also held a joint position of Health Science Specialist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center.

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