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The Dental Investigator Winter 2018

In 1968, before most of you were born the Foreign Policy Association met to gaze fifty years ahead to life in 2018. The conference published the book : “Toward the Year 2018”, “MORE AMAZING THAN SCIENCE FICTION,” proclaims the cover, with jacket copy envisioning how “on a summer day in the year 2018, the three-dimensional television screen in your living room” flashes news of “anti-gravity belts,” “a man-made hurricane, launched at an enemy fleet, [that] devastates a neutral country,” and a “citizen’s pocket computer” that averts an air crash.

While most of their predictions did not come true they were fairly accurate in their predictions of “global warming” from rising levels of carbon dioxide;  a “global communication system,” creating a data bank that “could be queried at any time” (google?) and the integration of computing into daily life with everything accessed  through portable devices ( mobile phones). There was no explicit refence to dentistry, but there is no doubt the field has come a long way since then. What are your predictons for the practice of Dentistry in 2068?

Chek out the Philips Institute Facebook page whee you can keep up to date with research, events and other 'goings on' in the instiute.

As always if you have any research stories you would like to share please get in touch at sodresearch@vcu.edu 

George W. Burke Jr. Graduate Student Award for Oral Health Research

Competition Announcement
This award is open to PhD students conducting Oral Health Research in the School of Dentistry.

The purpose of the award is to provide professional development funding to the student. The award may be used for any activity that falls within that scope e.g. attending a conference or scientific workshop. This may vary from student to student. This year the amount awarded will be $1500.
To apply for this award each student should submit an essay of no more than 1000 words outlining
1) their research and how it is relevant to oral health
2) their future career plans
3) how the award can help them advance their future plans
Submissions, along with an up to date CV, should be emailed to oloughran@vcu.edu by February 28th
Three students will be chosen to make an oral presentation to the award committee which will be comprised of Philips Institute faculty members. The winner will be announced at Research Day on Thursday April 19th.

Research Day 2018 April 19th

Calling Dental Students, Oral Hygienists, Residents, Graduate Students and Postdocs. We want your posters for Research Day

Abstract submission Deadline is March 1st

This year’s Research and Clinic Day will be held on Thursday April 19th. This is a great opportunity to share your research and network with colleagues. Judges will award prizes for the best poster presentation in four categories.

This year's keynote speaker is William V. Giannobile, DDS, MS, DMSc, the Najjar Endowed Professor of Dentistry and Biomedical Engineering and Chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Dr. Giannobile is an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dental Research.

Everybody is welcome to submit a poster abstract. For help in developing your poster, look out for the Student Research Group session on Poster Development.

For further information or to get more involved in Research Day contact Julia Giardina President of the Student Research Group at giardinaja@mymail.vcu.edu or if you are a DH student contact Sydney Smith smiths37@mymail.vcu.edu.

Award Categories

  • Dental students (DDS)
  • Dental hygiene students (DH)
  • Residents (R)
  • MS/PhD students (P)
  • IDP (IDP)

Submit abstracts by e-mail to sodresearch@vcu.edu  by March 1st 2018. Please include your name and the phrase ‘Res 2018’and your award catgory designation in the email title.

Three AD Williams Applicants selected to submit for AADR fellowship

Eighteen students applied for a 2018 AD Williams Student Fellowship.

Based on their applications three students were selected by the VCU SoD research committee to submit their proposals to the 2018 AADR Student Research Fellowships. This is a national competition and the winners  will be announced at the AADR/IADR meeting in Florida in March.

The students representing VCU are Kaixin Chen (2020), Kara Dunegan (2020) and Matthew Yeung (2019). 


Alexander Fellowship Awards

Congratulations to Dr's. Haverkos, Olson, Ricci (Ortho) and Dr Lyons (Perio), and Dr Staines (Pedo). These residents were awarded a 2018 Alexander Research Felloship award.  

Dental Research Award to Dr Akinkugbe

Congratulations to Dr Akinkugbe on her successful application to the Dental Research Fund.

Dr Akinkugbe is a member of the Oral Health Services Research Core in the Philips Institute for Oral Health Research. Her project is entitled ‘Maternal smoking and pregnancy BMI as prenatal risk factors for caries experience in the offspring: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children’. Maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with earlier tooth eruption and developmental enamel defects and it seems that pregnancy weight may affect dental caries development in the child.. Using data from the Avon longitudinal study of parents and children, Dr Akinkugbe  aims to independently investigate associations between smoking during pregnancy and pre-and  post-pregnancy BMI on subsequent caries experience in the offspring.

Internal Grant Deadlines

Clinical Research Fund

The Clinical Research Fund supports clinical faculty in developing research programs. Grants will be awarded to high quality research that has the potential to develop into an independent research program. Deadline is the last day of the month.

Learn more>>

Dental Innovation Program

The Dental Innovation Program supports the development of commercial technologies emerging from the School of Dentistry. It is intended to help faculty, residents and students progress their ideas from a laboratory or clinical concept to a proof of principle. The program will fund projects with commercialization potential and is not another source of research funding. Deadline is the last day of the month.

Learn more >>

Endowment Fund Awards Deadlines

The next deadlines for the CCTR Endowment Fund award are Nov 1st and  Feb 1st for individual investigators who may apply for up to $50,000 for their research. The multi-school awards deadline is May 1. Multidisciplinary research teams may apply for up to $130,000 to support research that involves collaborators from at least two different VCU schools.Multidisciplinary submissions are being actively encouraged by the committee

Learn more >>

Recent Extramural Research Awards



Dr Chris Li $119,381 Protein-protein Covalent Bonding and Treponema Motility. Contract with West Virginia University




Phillps Institute for Oral Health Seminars 2018

Jan 30th Research in Progress P3121
Xiangzhen Kong, Dr. Xu’s lab
Claire James, Dr. Morgan’s lab

Feb 27th Research in Progress P3121
Ming Sun, Dr. Sun’s lab
Dipon Das, Dr. Morgan’s lab

March 14th Seminar Series Lyons 424           TBD 

March 21th Seminar Series Lyons 424      Dr. Chunhao Li , Professor, Philips Institute for Oral Health Research. Dr.  Li works on spirochaetes

March 27th Research in Progress P3121
Anna Chongxia, Dr. Lin’s lab
Kyung-A Song, Dr. Faber’s lab

April 4th Seminar Series Lyons 424                                                                                                     Dr. Robert Quivey,  Professor, University of Rochester. Dr. Quivey works on S. mutans

April 24th Research in Progress P3121
Jacob Mirpanah, Dr. Lewis’s lab
Apurva Tadimari Prabhakar, Drs. Morgan's & Lewis’s labs

May 2nd Seminar Series Lyons 424                                                                                                     Dr Divaris  Associate Professor, UNC School of Dentistry . Dr Divais works on Oral Health Literacy  

Recent Publications from the School of Dentistry

Distinct dependencies on receptor tyrosine kinases in the regulation of MAPK signaling between BRAF V600E and non-V600E mutant lung cancers.Kotani H, Adachi Y, Kitai H, Tomida S, Bando H, Faber AC, Yoshino T, Voon DC, Yano S, Ebi H.
Oncogene. 2018 Jan 19 Epub ahead of print]

Impact of Community-Based Clinical Training on Dental Students' Confidence in Treating Pediatric Patients. Coe JM, Brickhouse TH, Bhatti BA, Best AM.J Dent Educ. 2018 Jan;82(1):5-11. 

Provider Appearance: A Survey of Guardian and Patient Preference. Westphal J, Berry E, Carrico C, Shroff B, Brickhouse T.J Dent Child (Chic). 2017 Sep 15;84(3):139-144.

Limited evidence shows short-term benefit of probiotics when used as an adjunct to scaling and root planing in the treatment of chronic periodontitis.Kumar S, Madurantakam P. Evid Based Dent. 2017 Dec 22;18(4):109-110.

Are there more adverse effects with lingual orthodontics? Madurantakam P, Kumar S.Evid Based Dent. 2017 Dec 22;18(4):101-102. 

Fixed and removable orthodontic retainers and periodontal health.Madurantakam P, Kumar S.Evid Based Dent. 2017 Dec 22;18(4):103-104.

Topical intra-pocket anaesthetic gel reduces the risk and intensity of pain during periodontal scaling and root planing and probing. Kumar S, Madurantakam P. Evid Based Dent. 2017 Dec 22;18(4):111-112. 

B Cell Receptor Activation and Chemical Induction Trigger Caspase-Mediated Cleavage of PIAS1 to Facilitate Epstein-Barr Virus Reactivation. Zhang K, Lv DW, Li R.Cell Rep. 2017 Dec 19;21(12):3445-3457..

Management of the Maxillary Diastema by Various Dental Specialties. Wheeler B, Carrico CK, Shroff B, Brickhouse T, Laskin DM.J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017 Nov 22.[Epub ahead of print]

Regulation of extracellular matrix vesicles via rapid responses to steroid hormones during endochondral bone formation. Asmussen N, Lin Z, McClure MJ, Schwartz Z, Boyan BD. Steroids. 2017 Dec 9.[Epub ahead of print]

An oral keratinocyte life cycle model identifies novel host genome regulation by human papillomavirus 16 relevant to HPV positive head and neck cancer. Evans MR, James CD, Loughran O, Nulton TJ, Wang X, Bristol ML, Windle B, Morgan IM.
Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 1;8(47):81892-81909. 

Venetoclax Is Effective in Small-Cell Lung Cancers with High BCL-2 Expression.Lochmann TL, Floros KV, Naseri M, Powell KM, Cook W, March RJ, Stein GT, Greninger P, Maves YK, Saunders LR, Dylla SJ, Costa C, Boikos SA, Leverson JD, Souers AJ, Krystal GW, Harada H, Benes CH, Faber AC. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 15;24(2):360-369.
Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Antagonizes Response to Targeted Therapies in Lung Cancer by Suppressing BIM. Song KA, Niederst MJ, Lochmann TL, Hata AN, Kitai H, Ham J, Floros KV, Hicks MA, Hu H, Mulvey HE, Drier Y, Heisey DAR, Hughes MT, Patel NU, Lockerman EL, Garcia A, Gillepsie S, Archibald HL, Gomez-Caraballo M, Nulton TJ, Windle BE, Piotrowska Z, Sahingur SE, Taylor SM, Dozmorov M, Sequist LV, Bernstein B, Ebi H, Engelman JA, Faber AC. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 1;24(1):197-208.

Patient Recall of Information on a Third Molar Informed Consent Video. Olsen BT, Sherwood CJ, Carrico CK, Priest JH, Laskin DM.J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017 Dec;75(12):2507-2511.

ciaR impacts biofilm formation by regulating an arginine biosynthesis pathway in Streptococcus sanguinis SK36.
Zhu B, Ge X, Stone V, Kong X, El-Rami F, Liu Y, Kitten T, Xu P.
Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 7;7(1):17183..

2018 Summer Institute in Clinical Dental Research Methods

The University of Washington's Summer Institute in Clinical Dental Research Methods is a six-week summer program, begun and led by IADR/AADR Member Timothy DeRouen for 25 years, that has served as a useful and popular faculty development program. Over 600 dentists and oral health researchers from institutions in 30 U.S. states and 57 foreign countries participate in this program. More information about the upcoming program and scholarship opportunities can be found online. Applications should be submitted prior to March 31, 2018.

Learn more>>

Outside News

Pioneering Gene Therapy for Dry Mouth

An ongoing NIDCR clinical trial is exploring the potential of gene transfer to restore salivary function in cancer patients suffering from chronic dry mouth due to radiation therapy. Led by NIDCR intramural scientist John Chiorini, PhD, the trial builds on the work of NIDCR scientist emeritus Bruce Baum, DMD, PhD, who spearheaded work to develop the experimental treatment over 25 years ago. It’s the first salivary gland gene therapy tried in humans. The treatment worked better than expected, encouraging the investigators to explore additional applications for its use.

Learn more >>


Nanodiamonds Shine in Root Canal Study​

As reported in the NIH Director’s Blog, NCI-funded scientists led by Dean Ho, PhD, at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, showed the benefit of adding nanodiamonds to the standard filler used to seal off a tooth’s root during a root canal. As described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers treated 3 people with a nanodiamond-fortified filler, which proved to be more durable and resistant to buckling and breaking than standard filler. A larger clinical trial of 30 patients is now under way to further test safety and efficacy. The group is also exploring broader applications for nanodiamonds, including their use in treatments for cancer and cleft lip and/or palate.

Learn more>>