Category: Research

Brickhouse named interim chair

[View Image]

Tegwyn H. Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D.

photo: VCU University Relations

BRICKHOUSE NAMED INTERIM CHAIR AT SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY

Research and policy strengths help eliminate barriers to oral health for the most vulnerable

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 7, 2017 – Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry Dean and Associate Vice President for Health Sciences, David C. Sarrett, D.M.D., M.S., has named Tegwyn H. Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach.

A member of the school’s faculty since 2003, Brickhouse is the Director of the Oral Health Services Research Core, part of the Philips Institute for Oral Health. She also leads the Oral Health in Childhood and Adolescence Core that is part of the university’s interdisciplinary iCubed initiative. This Core works to improve oral health in childhood and adolescence by identifying and eliminating barriers to the prevention and treatment of tooth decay in the Richmond area.

As interim Chair of the Department of Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach, Brickhouse leads research, policy, and health provider training efforts to improve oral health outcomes, to improve equity in patient care, and to align the dental profession with U.S. health care advancements.

She earned her dental degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry and her pediatric dentistry specialty training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and completed a Dental Public Health residency at the North Carolina Oral Health Section in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brickhouse specializes in research related to oral health disparities in vulnerable populations. Her most recent work examines the impact of Medicaid’s dental program reform on provider participation and behavior in addition to children’s utilization and cost. She has been awarded numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and over $3.2 million dollars in Health Resources and Services Administration training grants which support the development of interprofessional and social behavioral curriculum for dental students and residents. Her research explores oral health disparities in vulnerable communities and bridging new partnerships to improve access to care.

Brickhouse applies a wealth of academic, clinical, research, and policy experience in pediatric dentistry and population oral health to her work at the VCU School of Dentistry. She also serves as children’s oral health policy expert at the community, state, and national levels.

 

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org. For more about the VCU School of Dentistry, please visit www.dentistry.vcu.edu.

 

 

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[View Image]

Tegwyn H. Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D.

photo: VCU University Relations

MEDIA CONTACT:

Nan Johnson

VCU School of Dentistry

Communications Director

Office (804) 828-0324

Mobile: (804) 839-0326

nljohnson@vcu.edu

M.S. in Oral Health Research

The VCU School of Dentistry plans to offer an M.S. degree in Oral Health Research starting in Fall 2018. The M.S. is a two-year program and is designed with two groups of students in mind.

For students who plan to apply to dental school, the non-thesis track focuses mainly on didactics including core courses and first year dentistry courses. Students will also undertake a small research project.

For students who are interested in research, the thesis track focuses on completion of a research thesis. Students will also take core didactic courses and electives in particular areas of interest (e.g. cancer, microbiology, immunology).

Please complete the inquiry form to express your interest in the program. You will then receive more information on the curriculum and on the application procedure.

Complete your interest form »

Funding Opportunities

All NIDCR funding opportunities can be found at 

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/NewsAndFeatures/ENewsletters/CurrentNews/

New Opportunities

NIDCR

NIDCR Small Grant Program for New Investigators (R03)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-13-348.html

16 Oct 2015, 16 Feb 2016

This NIDCR Small Grant Program for New Investigators supports basic and clinical research conducted by scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent research career in oral, dental, andcraniofacial research. This R03 grant mechanism supports pilot or feasibility studies and developmental research projects with the intention of obtaining sufficient preliminary data for a subsequent investigator-initiated Research Project Grant (R01) application. Clinical trials of any phase will not be supported by this FOA.

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

 John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation Basic Cancer Research Fellowship

http://www.aacr.org/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=6#.Ve7fHPlVhBd

10/7/2015

The Fellowship is open to postdoctoral and clinical research fellows working at an academic, medical, or research institution who have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency within the past three years at the start of the grant term. The research proposed for funding may be in any area of basic cancer research.

AACR Basic Cancer Research Fellowships

http://www.aacr.org/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=8#.Ve7fg_lVhBd

10/7/2015

The fellowships support the Fellow working on a mentored basic cancer research project. Research projects may be in any area of basic cancer research. At the start of the grant term on July 1, 2016, applicants must have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency within the past three years and work under the auspices of a mentor at an academic, medical, or research institution anywhere in the world.

AACR Anna D. Barker Fellowship in Basic Cancer Research

http://www.aacr.org/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=5#.Ve7f8_lVhBd

10/7/2015

This fellowship provides funding to support the Fellow while working on a mentored basic cancer research project. The research proposed for funding may be in any area of basic cancer research.

NCI

NCI Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (NCI Omnibus R21)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-340.html

October 10, 2015

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) funding opportunity supports the development of new research activities in all areas of cancer research. The R21 mechanism is intended toencourage exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of these projects. These studies may involve considerable risk but may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area, or to the development of novel techniques, agents, methodologies, models, or applications that could have a major impact on a field of cancer research (biomedical, behavioral, or clinical).

AADR

 View All 2015 IADR/AADR Awards & Fellowships Deadlines

http://www.iadr.org/files/public/15Awards.pdf

American Cancer Society

http://www.cancer.org/research/applyforaresearchgrant/granttypes/postdoctoral-fellowships

 01 Apr 2015; 15 Oct 2015

 These training and career development awards support the training of cancer researchers at a variety of early career levels and disciplines. This award is to support the training of researchers to provide initial funding leading to an independent career in cancer research (including basic, preclinical, clinical, cancer control, psychosocial, behavioral, epidemiology, health services and health policy research).

American Academy of Otolaryngology

AHNS Pilot Grant

http://www.entnet.org/content/centralized-otolaryngology-research-efforts-core-grants-program#AHNS

15 Dec 2015; 15 Jan 2016

The purpose of this award is to support basic, translational, or clinical research projects in head and neck oncology. Clinical or translational research studies are strongly encouraged and should be specifically related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, outcomes, or pathophysiology of head and neck neoplastic disease.

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research

http://www.aacr.org/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=48#.VbJpYflVhBd

These Grants represent a new AACR funding initiative to stimulate highly innovative research from young investigators. This grant mechanism is intended to promote and support creative, paradigm-shifting cancer research that, because of its very nature, may not otherwise be funded through existing channels. It is anticipated that the projects funded through this mechanism will have the potential to lead to major breakthroughs in the field. It is expected that these grants will catalyze significant scientific discoveries and help talented young investigators gain scientific independence.

The proposed research must represent a highly innovative approach to a major contemporary challenge in cancer research. The funded projects must have the potential to lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the field, and transform our understanding of the tumorigenesis process and/or our ability to treat, detect, or prevent cancer. The research can be in any area of basic, translational, or clinical science.

Letter of Intent 8/10/2015

Application 11/23/2015

Josiah Macy Jr Foundation

President’s Grants

http://www.macyfoundation.org/apply/presidents-grants

 OPEN CALL

 The Foundation strives to foster innovation in health professional education and to align the education of health professionals with contemporary health needs and a changing health care system. President’s grants usually align with the foundation’s priority areas.

– Interprofessional education and teamwork
– New curriculum content
– New models for clinical education
– Education for the care of underserved populations
– Career development in health professions education

NCI

Collaborative Research in Integrative Cancer Biology (U01)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-13-184.html

18 Jun 2015; 13 Nov 2015

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage new research into integrative cancer biology by fostering collaborations between investigators currently supported through the Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP) and those currently unaffiliated with the ICBP. These collaborative projects should leverage the existing expertise and resources from within the ICBP research community and combine those with new approaches, technologies or methods to address compelling cancer questions. Therefore, the proposed research projects must involve partnerships between investigators currently supported by ICBP and investigators currently unaffiliated with the program. Applications that focus on projects which neither involve integrative cancer biology research, nor expand individual ICBP investigators’ research by adding additional expertise, resources, or approaches, or without affiliation to existing ICBP personnel, are not appropriate to this FOA.

NCI Small Grants Program for Cancer Research (NCI Omnibus R03)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-007.html

28 Oct 2015 26 Feb 2016 29 Jun 2016 28 Oct 2016

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports small research projects on cancer that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. The R03 grant mechanism supports different types of projects including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology.

NIDCR

Establishing Outcome Measures for Clinical Studies of Oral and Craniofacial Diseases and Conditions (R01)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-302.html

The goal of this funding opportunity announcement is to support the development of well-founded outcome measures, including establishing their reliability and validity, for clinical studies of those with oral and craniofacial diseases and conditions.

5th February, June October until September 2018

Establishing Outcome Measures for Clinical Studies of Oral and Craniofacial Diseases and Conditions (R21)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-298.html

The goal of this funding opportunity announcement is to support the development of well-founded outcome measures, including establishing their reliability and validity, for clinical studies of those with oral and craniofacial diseases and conditions.

16th March, June, October until 2018

Novel or Enhanced Dental Restorative Materials for Class V Lesions (R01)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DE-16-007.html

The intent of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to stimulate research on the development of novel or enhanced dental restorative materials for Class V lesions that demonstrate superiority in clinical service life over the currently used restorative options. The requirements of Class V restorative materials (those placed within the gingival third of the exposed tooth) are complex, due to the unique material characteristics required by the oral environment and the complications hindering dental treatment in this region.  For these reasons, this FOA encourages research that will produce fundamental improvements in Class V restorative dental materials

August 29th 2015

Immune System Plasticity in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Complex Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Diseases (R21)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-193.html

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage research projects to elucidate the role of immune system plasticity in health and in the pathogenesis of dental, oral, and craniofacial diseases. The goal is to advance knowledge of the immunological basis of dental, oral, and craniofacial diseases, and to develop tools and technologies for precise modulation of the immune system to restore or maintain health. The expectation is that new knowledge derived from this research will facilitate development of novel immunomodulatory therapies to prevent disease onset or reverse disease progression.

16th March, June, October until 2018

Immune System Plasticity in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Complex Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Diseases (R01)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-192.html

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage research projects to elucidate the role of immune system plasticity in health and in the pathogenesis of dental, oral, and craniofacial diseases. The goal is to advance knowledge of the immunological basis of dental, oral, and craniofacial diseases, and to develop tools and technologies for precise modulation of the immune system to restore or maintain health. The expectation is that new knowledge derived from this research will facilitate development of novel immunomodulatory therapies to prevent disease onset or reverse disease progression.

5th February, June October until February 2017

Short-term Mentored Career Enhancement Award in Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research for Mid-Career and Senior Investigators (K18)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-039.html

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications for short-term mentored career enhancement (K18) awards in dental, oral and craniofacial research with a focus on behavioral and social sciences, and genetic and genomic research. The intent of this K18 program is to provide mid-career or senior investigators with short-term training in the theories, tools, methods or approaches of another scientific area, in order to enhance their existing research program. Two categories of candidates are targeted: (a) established dental, oral, and craniofacial research investigators who seek training with investigators from another field, in order to enrich their existing dental, oral and craniofacial research program; and (b) established investigators in other fields who seek training with dental, oral and craniofacial research investigators in order to facilitate the introduction of dental, oral and craniofacial research into an existing research program.

12th February, June October until 2018

NIDCR Dentist Scientist Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-057.html

The purpose of the NIDCR Dentist Scientist Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented independent dual degree dentist scientists and to provide NIDCR research support that will help these individuals launch competitive, independent research careers.  This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding dual degree dentist scientists from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions by providing support for two years of mentored training and three to five years of independent research.  The option for five years of independent (R00) support is available to accommodate clinical specialty training at no more than 25% effort.

12th February, June October until January 2017

Building Genetics and Genomic Knowledge about Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Diseases and Disorders (R01)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-14-347.html

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)is to encourage research into dental, oral, and craniofacial diseases and disorders for which there is evidence for genetic heritability but for which we do not have a strong understanding of the genetics/genomics of the disease or disorder. Applicable areas of investigation include identification of promising areas of the genome, and characterization and elucidation of the function(s) of genetic variants that affect disease risk in humans. The ultimate goal of these studies will be to drive development of effective diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive approaches.

5th February, June October until January 2018

NIDCR Small Research Grants for Oral Health Data Analysis and Statistical Methodology Development (R03)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-120.html

November 16 through September 8, 2015

The goal of this funding opportunity announcement is to support meritorious research projects that involve secondary data analyses of existing oral or craniofacial database resources, or to develop needed statistical methodology for analyzing oral and craniofacial data using existing oral or craniofacial databases.

NIDCR Clinical Trial or Biomarker Clinical Validation Study Cooperative Agreement (U01)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-059.html#sthash.3YiMmhZ1.dpuf

This FOA issued by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) will support investigator-initiated Phase I, II, III or IV clinical trials, stage 1-4 behavioral or social intervention trials, or biomarker validation studies that require prospective collection of clinical outcomes and clinical specimens through the cooperative agreement funding mechanism

Establishing Behavioral and Social Measures for Causal Pathway Research in Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Health (R21)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-144.html

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to encourage the establishment of measures of specific behavioral or social phenomena that can be used to test causal hypotheses about behavioral and social contributors to dental, oral or craniofacial diseases. This announcement encourages the development and testing–or the adaptation and testing–of two types of measures: 1) measures of the health behaviors, social interactions, community characteristics, built environments, etc., targeted by behavioral or social interventions to improve oral health; and/or 2) measures of the hypothesized moderators and mediators of a behavioral or social intervention’s effect. Regardless of the type of measure being developed, applications should establish reliability and validity of the measure, and demonstrate acceptability of using the measure with the target population. Note that this announcement does not support the conduct of clinical trials, consistent with the NIDCR policy for acceptance, peer review, and funding of clinical trials

16th March, June, October until 2017

NIH

Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health

 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/PA-files/PAR-13-055.html

October 5 through January 8, 2016

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages investigators to submit research grant applications that will identify, develop, evaluate and refine effective and efficient methods, systems, infrastructures, and strategies to disseminate and implement research-tested health behavior change interventions, evidence-based prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment and management, and qualityof life improvement services, and data monitoring and surveillance reporting tools into public health and clinical practice settings that focus on patient outcomes.

Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health

R21:http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-13-054.htmlR03:

R03: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-13-056.html

October 16 2015,January 8, 2016)

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages investigators to submit research grant applications that will identify, develop, evaluate and refine effective and efficient methods, systems, infrastructures, and strategies to disseminate and implement research-tested health behavior change interventions, evidence-based prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment and management, and quality of life improvement services, and data monitoring and surveillance reporting tools into public health and clinical practice settings that focus on patient outcomes.

Sunstar Foundation for Oral Health Promotion

World Dental Hygienist Awards

http://www.sunstarawards.com/HowToEnterDentalHygienistAward.html

The Sunstar Foundation has established the World Dental Hygienist Awards to recognize dental hygienists who have made significant contributions to dentalhygiene science or to patients, the community and the generalpublic.

The World Dental Hygienist Awards are presented every three years to a person or group chosen by an independent Selection Committee.

Award categories and Selection Criteria:

  1. Research Category – The entry may include both quantitative and qualitative analyses that provide important new insights that contribute to the body of knowledge in dental hygiene. The winning entry in this category is chosen by the Selection Committee from unpublished, original research papers.
  2. Activity/Project Category – The entry should provide details of the activities that have made a key contribution to patients, the community or to the general public. The positive impact of the activities on the health of a significant number of individuals should be empirically demonstrated. This Award is open to individuals as well as groups of dental hygienists who have made notable accomplishments in any area of oral health promotion, including counseling,education, innovation, prevention and treatment. Measurable outcomes that demonstrate improved health must be provided.
  3. Student Research Category – The entry may include both quantitative and qualitative analyses that provide important new insights that contribute to the body of knowledge in dental hygiene. The winning entry in this category is chosen by the Selection Committee from unpublished, original research papers.
  4. Student Activity/Project Category – The entry should provide details of the activities that have made a key contribution to patients, the community or to the general public. The positive impact of the activities on the health of a significant number of individuals should be empirically demonstrated. This Award is open to individuals as well as groups of student dental hygienists who have made notable accomplishments in any area of oral health promotion, including counseling, education, innovation, prevention and treatment. Measurable outcomes that demonstrate improved health must be provided.

Open now until 31 Dec 2015
World Perio Research Award

http://www.sunstarawards.com/HowToEnterWorldPerio.html

The Sunstar Foundation is pleased to announce this call for research papers on “The Relationship between Periodontal Diseases and Systemic Health” in collaboration with four prestigious journals in the field ofperiodontal research: Journal of Periodontology, Journal of Clinical Periodontology, Journal of Periodontal Research, and Journal of Dental Research. These papers will be eligible to receive the Sunstar Foundation World Perio Research Award. In this way, the Foundation hopes to promote further research advances in oral health and systemic health. Research papers on basic science in periodontal disease including laboratory animal studies, epidemiology and pure technology innovation may be accepted. However research on commercially available products or on product concepts nearing launch will not be accepted for these awards. Further, no clinical trials of product testing are eligible.

 

 

 

Lyubov Slacheva at the 55th Annual American Dental Association (ADA)/Dentsply Student Clinician Research program

The dental profession continues to develop in new ways that allow us to better serve the oral health needs of the public. Dentists in clinical practice best know their patients’ needs, yet may not typically have the means by which to be the pioneers of novel advances. Acknowledging this, organizations like the Pierre Fauchard Academy and others champion research and scholarly endeavors of licensed dentists.

As a dental student who had considered pursuing a dual clinical-research degree, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage in research that responds to pressing oral health needs. Opportunities like the AD Williams Trust Fund encourage students to engage in a wide variety of research, from basic science to clinical practice to population health, while still pursuing rigorous training in the theory of dental practice and mastery of technical clinic skills. Organizations like the International Association of Student Clinicians (SCADA)-ADA validate the strong network of developing dental healthcare professionals who are committed to contributing to the profession’s progress through scientific inquiry and will ensure that the future impetus of the profession’s evidence-based advancement remains quality care provision to the public.

It has been an honor to represent VCU School of Dentistry with one of my AD Williams Grant projects at the AADR Annual Meeting, our school’s Clinic & Research Day poster presentation, the Pierre Fauchard Academy Virginia Chapter gathering, and the DENTSPLY/ADA Student Clinician Research Program. My gratitude for these opportunities is extended to Dr. Todd Kitten—my PI and mentor, the School of Dentistry Philips Institute and its immensely helpful staff, and my predoctoral dental faculty and mentors who have tolerated and even celebrated these endeavors. My hope is that such opportunities continue to exist through which dental students are able to fully appreciate their integral role as future clinicians in dental research and improvement of the profession.

Lyubov Slashcheva D3

International Association of Dental Research Pediatric Oral Health – “Global Trends of Diagnostics, Risk Assessment and Innovative Strategies for ECC Prevention”

The “Global Trends of Diagnostics, Risk Assessment and Innovative Strategies for ECC Prevention” symposium  at the IADR meeting in South Africa was very well attended. There were presentations by M.O. Ukpong (Nigeria) on Early Childhood Caries as a Global Epidemic in developed and developing countries; Innovative Comprehensive CAMBRA Risk Assessment tool for Young children and caregivers by F.J. Ramos-Gomez (USA);  Early Intervention Strategies for young children and Primary teeth preventive efforts by S. Twetman (Denmark), and Genomic Determinants of Early Childhood Caries and promising innovative strategies by G. Kulkarni (Canada).

J.D.B Featherstone, moderated a panel discussion that covered topics including; promising interventions such as probiotics and other innovative interventions for ECC, early diagnosis and early treatment of ECC and minimally invasive tactics that focus on preempting the destruction of the tooth structure, preserve enamel and change the oral health profile and behavior of young children and caregivers.

At the groups business meeting, they celebrated their growth from 57 members in 2013 to approximately 300 members representing 32 countries in 2014.  The group discussed the need for sponsorship for keynote speeches and symposia with ambitions of obtaining funding for student awards and networking receptions. They concluded the meeting by recognizing the work of their inaugural President Dr Indru Puwani (USA) in advancing pediatric oral health research, promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the conduct of observational, investigational and translational pediatric oral health research, and providing  an international and cooperative forum to present and discuss pediatric oral health research.

Relaunch of the Philips Institute for Oral Health Research

The Philips Institute is growing. There  are now over 60 people working within the Institute creating a vibrant research atmosphere with an active seminar series and post graduate club. Approval by the University to start an MS and a PhD program in Oral Health Research will expand the pool of researchers and train the next generation of scientists to address the main issues in Oral Health. The Institute has made strong connections with research colleagues in the Massey Cancer Center and physicians throughout VCU and with colleagues in the School of Engineering as well as clinical faculty at the School of Dentistry.

The future of research lies in multi-disciplinary teams organized to tackle challenging research area in health. At the Phillips Institute we have microbiologist, virologists, and cancer specialists, bioinformaticians, tissue engineers, physicians and dentists. We have the skills and the resources to tackle major issues in oral health and should be well positioned to respond to requests for multidisciplinary proposals from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Cancer Institute. An external advisory board is being recruited to provide strategic advice on our current research and future plans.

Future plans for the Philips Institute include  pump prime funding for multi-disciplinary projects in the area of oral health. The funding will be used to generate data for federal grant submissions.

In collaboration with the Massey Cancer center a Head and Neck Cancer research focus group is being established to provide a quarterly forum to discuss research progress and identify new areas fertile for collaborative research.

The final talk of the day from Dr. Blackburn helped place what the Institute does in the context of the patient. Researchers do not often get to hear from patients first hand and can often feel removed from the health issues for which they are seeking cures. To hear Dr. Blackburn speak, with his physician Dr. Dinardo in the audience, helped put test tubes and tissue culture plates into context and provided a real world view about the importance of laboratory based research to patient care.

Following the introductory talks a reception and poster session was held that showcased the major research themes in the Philips Institute.

 

Faculty Research – Who’s Who in SoD – Dr Yue Sun

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the 5th most common cancer worldwide with 200,000 deaths annually. In the US, about 11,000 people die and 40,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Improvements in surgery and chemoradiation have resulted in modest improvement in the 5-year survival of HNSCC; 48% survival for individuals with locally advanced disease and 26% survival for individuals with metastatic disease. A better understanding of HNSCC at the cellular and molecular level could guide development and use of new therapeutic interventions.

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) belongs to the ErbB receptor tyrosine kinase family and is vital to control cell proliferation, differentiation, and homeostasis. Deregulation of EGFR impacts a considerable proportion of tumors, including head and neck, lung, colon, and breast cancer. The elevated expression and over-activation of EGFR correlate with cancer metastasis, recurrence, and poor patient prognosis.

Cetuximab, a monoclonal anti-EGFR antibody blocks EGFR activation, and has been approved by FDA to treat HNSCC. However, patients’ response rate is limited and they rapidly develop resistance to the therapy.  New treatments are required to improve patient treatment outcomes.Role of PIPKIi5 in EGFR Regulation [View Image]
Role of PIPKIi5 in EGFR Regulation

Dr Sun has identified a new signaling pathway involving an enzyme PIPKIgi5, Mig6 a known tumor suppressor protein and LAPTM4B an oncoprotein that regulate EGFR signaling.  By studying this regulatory pathway Dr Sun and his group want to understand how this pathway controls disease progression.

The long terms goals of this research are twofold. Dr Sun hopes that by understanding this pathway better it will be possible to tailor cancer therapies to individual HNSCC patients by identifying those individuals who will respond well to known treatments such as cetuximab. For those patients who will not respond well to known therapies, the signaling pathway identified provides a new target to design new drug interventions to be used alongside or as an alternative to current therapeutic intervention.

MS Students who graduated this year

Congratulations to all the MS students who defended their thesis this year. Although none of them graduated from the School of Dentistry they did carry out their research under the supervision of our faculty.  We will continue to see some of them around the school.

Paul Dado Kim: MS in Microbiology and Immunology

Title: The role of Toll-like receptor 9 in periodontitis

Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Dentistry (D1 student)
Faculty Advisor Esra Sahingur

Anuja Chumble: MS in Microbiology and Immunology
Title: Epigenetic alterations of Toll-like receptors by TET2
University of New England
College of Dental Medicine (D1 student)
Faculty Advisor Esra Sahingur

Yamileth Chin, MS in Microbiology and Immunology
“The cytotoxic effect of the BCL-2 family proteins in breast cancer cells”
Dental School Applicant
Faculty Advisor Hisaho Harada

B. Ross Belvin MS in Microbiology and Immunology
“HcpR of Porphyromonas gingivalis utilizes heme to bind NO”
Virginia Commonwealth University
PhD program VCU
Faculty Advisor Janina Lewis

Holly Dwyer MS in Microbiology and Immunology
“Characterization of putative Porphyromonas gingivalis RNA-binding proteins”
University of Maryland
School of Dentistry (D1 student)
Faculty Advisor Janina Lewis

Soheil Rostami MS in Microbiology and Immunology
“Characterization of a putative TonB deficient Porphyromonas gingivalis mutant”
Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Dentistry (D1 student)
Faculty Advisor Janina Lewis

Romana Cvitkovic MS in Microbiology and Immunology
“Characterization of a biological role of a putative Porphyromonas gingivalis RNA – binding protein”
Dental School Applicant
Faculty Advisor Janina Lewis

Ahmad Obaidullah MS

 A Route to Discover Small Molecule Inhibitors of PsaA, A Potential Target for Streptococcus pneumoniae

Faculty Advisor:  Todd Kitten

Updates from IADR international conference

Drs Tufecki, Brickhouse and Best met with 2500 of our closest colleagues at the IADR conference in Cape Town, South Africa the last week of June. Al’s favorite session was an interactive exchange with the Cochrane meta-analysis folks. Small groups did blind reviews of three dental products/procedures and were asked to rate the level of evidence available from the meta-analyses of multiple clinical trials. Then we were told that the three products—flossing, tooth paste with Triclosan, and electric tooth brushing—had all received official guideline designations that were different than what the evidence indicated. What is the point of evidence-based dental research if it’s not used? How can we researchers make our findings more useful, usable, and used?

Eser reports a controversy among the “clinician-orthodontists” and “basic science researcher orthodontists.” The IADR now requires each member to join a scientific group. But the craniofacial biology group covers only some of the orthodontic field (the biology part). So, the heated discussion among the attendants was whether to change the name to “craniofacial biology and orthodontics” or not. It is kind of disturbing that there is no orthodontic group such as periodontology, prosthodontics etc.

We also took time off after the meeting to do some touristing. Did you know that hippos can’t swim? Elephants can get 6 sets of teeth. Next year the AADR/IADR location is not nearly as exotic. It’s March 11-14 in Boston. Even so, you should go.

Dr Al Best, Director of Faculty Research Development

Director of Faculty Research Development

 

Cape Point is where the currents of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean’s meet and whew knew that the South African “jackass” penguins sound like a donkey.. I got to meet with Pediatric Oral Health Researchers from all over Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Iran, and the UK. We Discussed evidence-base strategies for Risk assessment for 0 to 5 yr olds, learned New trends on Evidence-Based Diagnostics for early ECC, specifically ICDAS pre-cavitated Lesions, in addition to Discussing new Innovation Strategies for ECC Prevention and focusing on the Age One Visit.

Dr Teg Brickhouse

Chair & Associate Professor Department of Pediatric Dentistry

Faculty Research – Who’s Who in SOD Dr Zhao Lin

Dr Lin joined the department of periodontics last year. He divides his time between clinics and his research passion in periodontal regeneration. Treatment of severe periodontal disease is complex. Current treatments involve guided tissue regeneration, using barrier membranes to support bone growth on one side and periodontal tissue growth on the other. While this is reasonably successful in well-contained defects the outcomes are still unpredictable in many challenging situations such as one wall defects and furcation involvement.  Dr Lin’s research hopes to address this by treating the defects in a more integrated fashion using mesenchymal stem cells.

Dr Lin completed his dental training at the School of Stomatology, Peking University Health Science Center. On completion, his mentors suggested he get involved in research and so he undertook a Masters in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Peking University. It was here his passion for regenerative medicine and how he as a dentist could apply it to oral health started. Following his Masters he completed a PhD in Oral Health Sciences at the University of Michigan and a MS in medical science at Harvard University.

Dr Lin is now using his research training to explore the role of stem cells in periodontal regeneration so that dentists can provide patients with better treatments with more predictable outcomes. He is a taking a tissue engineering approach to the very complex periodontal environment. This consists of a number of tissues: gingiva, periodontal ligaments, cementum and bone. Dr Lin believes for successful periodontal regeneration all of these tissues need to be considered. The use of mesenchymal stem cells (bone marrow stromal cells) which have the ability to differentiate into all of these tissues could provide an effective treatment for complex cases.

Almost all cell types release microvesicles or exosomes that contain lipids, proteins and micro RNAs. These exosomes are believed to be essential for cell-cell communication and they may play a role in determining the fate of surrounding stem cells. The vesicles are 40-100 nm diameter membranous vesicles constitutively released by the cells. Dr Lin is isolating and analyzing the contents of the exosomes of bone marrow stromal cells to understand what stem cell differentiation signals they contain.

Dr Lin’s collaborators in the School of engineering, Drs Boyan and Schwartz are analyzing the protein and lipid content of the vesicles while Dr Lin is focused on micro RNAs.  He hopes that by analyzing the micro RNA components of these vesicles he will be able to identify RNA sequences that are essential for the differentiation of these cells in to the many tissues that form the periodontal environment. Dr Lin will initially focus on the regeneration of bone but future plans include looking at the regeneration of the gingiva and cementum.

Ultimately Dr Lin hopes to be able to treat periodontal disease by delivering either intact exosomes or micro RNAs, along with stem cells and a cell scaffold to the site of damage to promote regeneration of periodontal tissues. While Dr Lin’s work is still at an early stage and uses in vitro models, others are exploring the use of stem cells in periodontal regeneration and there are currently three Phase 1 clinical trials exploring the effectiveness of using stem cells for treating periodontal disease.

Closely aligned to his basic research Dr Lin is also interested in understanding the differences in implant retention between individual with osteoporosis and those without. He would like to understand whether any differences between these two groups are at least in part due to differences in bone marrow stromal cells.

Dr Lin divides his time between teaching and clinics at the school of dentistry and his research which he conducts at the School of Engineering. Here he has access to essential equipment and daily contact with his research mentors Drs Boyan and Schwartz. Dr Schwartz is one of two dentists who are faculty members in the School of Engineering.

Dr Lin is excited about developing his own research ideas and building his research group. He is enthusiastic about the opportunities new technology brings to the practice of dentistry. He believes the dental profession needs a group of people who are willing to embrace and research new technologies for their application in the field of dentistry.

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