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Grant to NYU dental school will support perio research

June 18, 2012

By Jean Williams, ADA News staff

Dr. Teles

New York—New York University College of Dentistry received a subcontract of $1.8 million from the Forsyth Institute to help investigate new ways to diagnose and prevent periodontal disease.

The Forsyth Institute, which is affiliated with Harvard University, was founded more than a century ago to provide charitable dental care to children in Boston. Today it is dedicated to promoting oral health through research and education.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research granted Forsyth Institute $20.7 million in September 2010 to explore microbiological, genetic and immunological aspects of periodontal disease.

“The knowledge generated by this project will start a new era in risk assessment and diagnostic tests for periodontal patients, bringing us one step closer to the goal of personalized therapies,” said Dr. Ricardo P. Teles, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research”¨Department of Periodontology at Forsyth Institute.

The four-year grant supports three major subprojects: Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression, Oral Microbial Biomarkers in Periodontal Disease Progression and Metatranscriptome of the Oral Microbiome during Periodontal Disease Progression.

Aside from NYU College of Dentistry, other clinical research partners include the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research, the University of Florida College of Dentistry and The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

For its part, NYU College of Dentistry will screen research subjects and collect biological samples for the project Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression. NYU dental school researchers will seek to expand the use of biomarkers in clarifying why people develop periodontal disease, what circumstances lead to progression of periodontal disease and how treatment affects biomarkers.

“Biomarkers are factors in people’s blood, dental plaque, saliva or tissue that might indicate that they are more susceptible than others to developing periodontal disease,” said Dr. Patricia Corby, principal investigator on the NYU College of Dentistry grant. “By identifying these factors, we will be able to design more specific treatments for this condition; thus we’re changing the paradigm of how we diagnose and treat periodontal disease.”

Dr. Corby is an assistant professor of periodontology and implant dentistry and associate director of the NYU Bluestone Center for Clinical Research.

Aside from identifying and exploring biomarkers, researchers are also investigating novel approaches to treating periodontal disease.