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John D. Bartlett - February 2013

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John D. Bartlett, M.S., Ph.D., is a senior member of staff and chair of the department of mineralized tissue biology at The Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also an associate professor in the department of developmental biology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts. Bartlett earned his B.A. in biology/psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University, his M.S. in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire and his Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Vermont.

Bartlett has focused his research on understanding dental enamel development. The Bartlett research group discovered the first proteinase secreted into the enamel matrix and named it enamelysin (matrix metalloproteinase-20, MMP20). He published about the events leading to the discovery of MMP20 in an article titled “Making the Cut in Dental Enamel—The Discovery of Enamelysin (MMP-20)” (J Dent Res. 2005 84(11):986-988, 2005).  In addition, he has authored a chapter on MMP20 for the Handbook on Proteolytic Enzymes (Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press; 835-840, 2013). The Bartlett laboratory also co-discovered the only other proteinase known to reside in dental enamel. This proteinase was originally named “enamel matrix serine proteinase-1”, but was subsequently renamed kallikrein-related peptidiase-4 (KLK4).
A second focus of Bartlett’s research group is to understand the molecular events that cause dental fluorosis. Bartlett has published a novel theory on the molecular mechanisms that cause dental fluorosis (PLoS ONE 5(5):e10895, 2010). Recently, the Bartlett group began investigating the cell-cell interactions that are required for healthy enamel formation.