Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Cara Gonzales, D.D.S., Ph.D.

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Dr. Cara Gonzales is an associate professor with tenure in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry where she performs translational research in the field of oral cancer.

Her research focus is two-fold:

1. characterization of novel mechanisms of oral cancer pain; and

2. drug development to treat oral cancer and cancer related pain. In this regard, she has demonstrated that tumor secreted molecules activate pain receptors in the trigeminal system, and identified novel compounds that are currently being tested, in vitro and in vivo, for the ability to halt tumor progression and alleviate the tumor-related pain.

In addition to her research, she practices as a general dentist in the Faculty Practice Clinic. She also assists with screening potential patients for the dental school and overseeing students in the clinic. Her teaching duties allow her to work closely with the students in the classroom, the clinic and the laboratory. 

Selected Publications 

Gonzales CB, Kirma NB, De La Chapa J, Chen R, Henry MA, Luo S, Hargreaves KM. Vanilloids induce oral cancer apoptosis independent of TRPV1 interactions. Oral Oncology 2014 May;50(5):437-447.

Gonzales CB, Young, V, Ketchum, NS, Bone, J, Oates, T and Mungia R. How concerns for bisphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw affect clinical practice among dentists: a study from the South Texas Oral Health Network. General Dentistry 2014 Jan;.

Huang TT, Gonzales CB, Gu F, Hsu YT, Jadhav RR,Wang CM, Redding SW, Tseng CE, Lee CC, Thompson IM, Chen HR, Huang T, Kirma NB* (*Corresponding author). Epigenetic deregulation of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene modulates mesenchymal characteristics of oral squamous cell carcinomas. [Epub ahead of print.] Carcinogenesis 2013 Apr;.

Gonzales CB, Simmons, D., and MacDougall, M. Competing Roles of TGFBeta and Nma/BAMBI in Odontoblasts. Journal of Dental Research 2010 Jan;.

Gonzales CBProviding Oral Health Care to HIV Infected Children vs. HIV Infected Adults: A General Dentists Guide. General Dentistry 2010 Jan;.

Associate Professor
Comprehensive Dentistry


Ph.D., Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2003

D.D.S., Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2003

B.S., Biology/Chemistry, St. Mary's University, 1992



Phone: (210) 567-3332

Research Profile
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