AADR Strides in Science June. 2008 - Jan. 2009

AADR Strides in Science is a monthly feature highlighting an AADR member’s accomplishments and comments on how his/her involvement with AADR has been an important part of his/her career in research. If you would like to nominate a colleague to be featured, please send his/her name to scienceadvocate@aadr.org.


January 2009

Janet Moradian-Oldak, M.Sc., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, School of Dentistry, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In addition to this, she is the principal investigator for several research projects, including “The Kinetics of Mineralization of Teeth,” which aims to improve understanding of mineralization and demineralization of teeth; "Maxtrix-based Mineral Enamel Biomimetics," the goal of which is to understand the general molecular principles that apply to the formation and biomineralization of enamel; and the "Action and Function of MMP-20 during Enamel Formation," which deals with the function of protein processing in enamel. All of these research projects will contribute to the basic knowledge required for the design and development of novel biomaterials with potential future application in clinical dentistry and other areas of biomedical and biomaterial technology.

Following three years of Postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology of USC, working on the biochemistry of enamel proteins, she started an independent scientific career as a research assistant professor. In 2003, she was appointed as an assistant professor in the Division of Surgical, Therapeutics and Bioengineering Sciences, School of Dentistry at USC.

Her research interests include organic matrix-mediated biomineralization, particularly the molecular mechanisms of tooth enamel formation, with a focus on amelogenin self-assembly, structure and function, extracellular matrix processing, protein-crystal interactions and development of enamel-like biomaterials. Moradian-Oldak’s research has earned many accolades, including a Young Investigator Award, Sixth International Conference on the Chemistry and Biology of Mineralized Tissues.

Moradian-Oldak has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and numerous book chapters, and she has served on the Journal of Dental Research’s Editorial Board and is currently an Associate Editor of Connective Tissue Research.

AADR Member since 1996


1984   B.S.          Ben Gurion University, Israel (Chemistry)
1986   M.Sc.        Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (Structural
1992   Ph.D.         Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (Structural Biology)
1995   Post Doc   University of Southern California (Enamel Protein

What motivated you to join AADR?I joined AADR because of the nature of the research that was mostly chemical and biochemical, and the need to complement the knowledge in other disciplines. It’s important to expose our research to the dental research community. AADR updates us on what’s happening in the field, which is very valuable.

What is your area of research?
Currently, my lab is focused on the biophysical aspects of enamel protein structure and developing enamel-like material, which we hope will be useful for an alternative of dental restorative material. I’m also interested in basic science research to understand the structure of enamel formation. I want to learn how enamel is formed and how similar material can be synthesized in the lab. My lab does in vitro experiments; we isolate proteins and examine folding, protein assembly and function.

What do you want others to gain from your research?I hope the research that comes from my laboratory will be useful for others in their research in systems and synthesis of other materials. I try to take principles and fundamentals of dental research and expose them to other fields. I want to make the research of high impact so that it’s of value to other scientists beyond the dental community.

What is a message you want to share with future researchers?
Scientific information is rapidly growing. It’s important for post docs and young investigators to join AADR and network, and learn what’s going on in the field.

What value do you find in the AADR Annual Meetings?The AADR Annual Meetings give us the opportunity for exposure. It’s a place where we can learn how our research could be useful for a larger community and to network with scientists in the field. The impact with regard to networking is of tremendous importance.


December 2008

Thomas Van Dyke, D.D.S., Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Periodontology and Oral Biology at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. He’s also the Program Director, Postdoctoral Periodontology, Director, Clinical Research Center, and Associate Director at the Boston University School of Medicine Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Van Dyke devotes approximately 40 percent of his time to basic science research focusing on resolution of inflammation as a therapeutic target, and an additional 25 percent to clinical research and clinical trials focusing on drug treatment for periodontal disease, local delivery systems, and clinical trials of anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis agents, local anesthetics, regenerative periodontal therapies and early-onset periodontitis. The remainder of his time is devoted to training of clinical fellows and administration.

As an esteemed researcher, Van Dyke has several distinguished accolades, including an IADR Award for Basic Research in Periodontology, the Balint Orban Memorial Prize for Research in Periodontology, a Norton Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research, and the 2008 Gies Award.

He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, and he serves or has served on the editorial boards of Infection and Immunity, Journal of Periodontology, Journal of Periodontal Research, Journal of Clinical Periodontology, Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Current Opinions in Periodontology, and Magazyn Stomatologiczy Dental Magazine. In addition, he edited Periodontology 2000 Vols. 6 and 45, and the recent Supplement of the Journal of Periodontology revisiting the role of inflammation in periodontal disease. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 original articles, and numerous abstracts and book chapters.

Van Dyke served as president of the Periodontology Research Group of the IADR from 1991-1992. His other IADR/AADR service includes Membership Committee, 1983-1986, Science Information Committee, 1990-1993, and Science Awards Committee, 2001-present. He has also served as president of the International Academy of Periodontology (1997-1999).

His research interests are the structural and functional relationship of abnormalities of the inflammatory process, with focus on the regulation of phagocytic cells in the etiology and pathogenesis of periodontal diseases. He is best-known for his work on the pathways of resolution of inflammation and pathogenesis of periodontal diseases, neutrophil biology, and clinical research.

AADR Member since 1978


1973   D.D.S.                                 Case Western Reserve University
1979   M.S.                                    SUNY at Buffalo
1980   Periodontics Certificate      SUNY at Buffalo
1982   Ph.D.                                   SUNY at Buffalo

What are you currently studying?With my research group, I’m studying resolution of inflammation in the pathogenesis of periodontal diseases. We are looking into using the findings for the treatment of periodontal diseases.

How did you first get involved with AADR?
In 1978, as a student, I presented my first paper at the AADR Annual Meeting. Ultimately, AADR is a place to network and keep abreast of the work of colleagues; that’s why I decided to join. The environment and collegiality of dental research happen at AADR.

How important are the AADR Annual Meetings to your research?My group presents at least 10 papers a year at AADR meetings. The Annual Meetings are an important part of communication and networking in dental research and an important part of the training and development of students.

What do you find is the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
AADR is a source of information, and it provides representation on the national level in terms of advocacy, which is very important.

Would you recommend joining AADR?Yes, and I strongly support and encourage my students to join. Each year I sign them up for membership.

What’s a message you want to give to future dental researchers?
Be active in organized dental research, because that’s how you further the field.

What do you want to see in the future for AADR?I want to see more funding for dental research, and greater emphasis in translational research as it relates to new ideas and advancing basic science techniques and principles.


November 2008

Floyd E. Dewhirst, D.D.S., Ph. D., is a Senior Member of the Staff for the Department of Molecular Genetics at The Forsyth Institute and is also a Professor in the Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Dewhirst received his dental training from the University of California – San Francisco, and he received medical training from the University of Rochester. As a dental research student, he co-wrote and published a paper about prostaglandins in periodontal disease. To date, this paper has been cited more than 200 times.

For the past 12 years, Dewhirst’s primary research focus has been to define the scope and diversity of organisms present in the human oral cavity and their pathogenic potential. He has used 16S rRNA sequencing of cultivable oral organisms and cloning of 16S rDNA genes from DNA isolated from the oral cavity to identify both cultivable and previously uncultured organisms. This effort has resulted in the identification of approximately 600 species or phylotypes of human oral bacteria, which are described on the Human Oral Microbiome Database, www.homd.org. This database contains important phylogenetic, genomic and bibliographic information on each species, as well as bioinformatic tools.

To understand the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, Dewhirst also initiated a complete genome-sequencing project in collaboration with The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). Porphyromonas gingivalis has been fully sequenced, assembled and annotated. The Porphyromonas gingivalis genome sequence and annotation are available at www.jcvi.org, www.homd.org, and at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. A manuscript describing the genome appeared in the Journal of Bacteriology.

Dewhirst has received several distinguished awards for his work, including a Bergey Medal from Bergey’s Manual Trust and a Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine Best Paper Award in the clinical/preclinical category.

AADR Member since 1973

1969 B.S University of California at Santa Barbara (Chemistry)
1971 M.A. University of California at Santa Barbara (Biology)
1973 D.D.S University of California at San Francisco (Dentistry)
1979 Ph.D. University of Rochester, Rochester NY (Pharmacology)

What attracted you to AADR?
In 1973, I co-presented an abstract at the AADR Annual Meeting, as a student. This made me more interested in dental research, and as a result of that, I joined AADR. This was also the first AADR Annual Meeting I attended. Over time, the Annual Meeting has continued to be a place to network with other people in the field. It’s a place where we can collaborate on grants.

What do you find is the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
For me, the most valuable benefit is being part of a shared endeavor of treating and preventing oral diseases and being a part of a shared mission. As an AADR member, I’m a part of something bigger, and this helps give focus to my research. The information I receive from the Association keeps me in touch with the breadth of dental research. It’s also important for members to join specific subgroups so that they are meeting with scientists with closely related interests.

Where do you feel the research community would be without AADR?Dental research encompasses a wide range of sciences. It’s important to have AADR and NIDCR to meld together with one focus. Without AADR, it would be much harder for this broad group of scientists to crosslink.

How important do you think cross-collaboration with other scientific disciplines is to the future of dental and craniofacial research?
Collaborating with others outside of one’s institution is crucial. I’ve had international people on science projects, and that kind of collaboration is critical to one’s career. In today’s competitive world of getting grants, it’s better to collaborate in order to have complementary skill sets that are essential to putting together a strong grant proposal. It’s difficult for one person to have all of those skill sets.

What message would you share with today’s dental research students?
If you aren’t already doing so, collaborate with others, both within and external to your institution. Each person can bring to a project his or her own strength and potential. It is helpful when different skill sets come together.


October 2008

Cun-Yu Wang, D.D.S., PH.D. is the Professor and Chair, Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, School of Dentistry, University of California at Los Angeles.

Wang received his dental and medical training from both Peking University and Nanjing University. In 1990, he came to The Forsyth Institute as a postdoctoral fellow to study oral inflammation and bone resorption. To enhance his basic science training, he went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study for a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics in 1995. He started his independent research career at The University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1999. He was recruited to the current position in 2007.

Wang works in three major areas related to human oral health: 1) molecular signaling and therapeutics of oral cancer; 2) molecular regulation of oral inflammation and infection; and 3) molecular control of adult dental stem cell properties and craniofacial regeneration. He has made a landmark discovery on the regulation of cancer cell death by NF-κB, a transcription factor associated with inflammation and immune responses. His work has been published in the several prestigious journals, including Science, Cell, Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, Nature Cell Biology, Lancet, and Nature Biotechnology. Wang is among the most highly cited dentist-

scientists at the national and international levels. In 2005, NIDCR recognized Wang’s work by endowing him with a MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award to support his ongoing investigation in oral cancer.   He has also been the recipient of the 1999 IADR Young Investigator Award, the 2006 IADR/GlaxoSmithKline Innovation in Oral Care Award and the 2003 IADR/AADR William J. Gies Award in Biological Research for work published in the Journal of Dental Research.

During his career, Wang has mentored over 50 students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars, eight of whom have started their independent academic careers in the United States, China, and Korea.

AADR Member since 1999

1980-1985: B.D.S., Nanjing Medical University (Stomatology)
1985-1989: D.D.S., Peking University School of Dentistry
                   Certificate (Pediatric Dentistry)
1990-1995: Postdoctoral, The Forsyth Institute (Immunology and Cytokine Biology)
1995-1998: Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Genetics and Molecular Biology)

When did you first attend an AADR meeting/how did you get involved with the AADR?
I attended my first meeting during my Postdoctoral training at Forsyth, at the urging of my mentor.  I joined the AADR in 1999 when I completed my Ph.D. and have presented and chaired at several meetings over the last 10 years.

How important has the AADR been in your career in dental and craniofacial research?I feel as if I have grown up with the AADR.  The AADR has been an integral part of my research development.  In attending the meetings, it is not only networking with colleagues, but seeing what leaders in science are doing.  As a researcher, I spend most of my time in my lab. The AADR meeting allows me to think outside of my lab and my university setting, and I am able to view what others are doing and identify what are potential trends for the future of research.

What do you find is the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
The monthly e-newsletter has been a great benefit of membership.  And of course attending the meeting is a great experience.  Not only for seasoned researchers, but for students to learn what makes great science and how to put together a professional presentation.

What do you want to see in the future for the AADR?The AADR is the premiere location for dental researchers to come together. In the future, I would like to see AADR bridge the gap between the clinical scientists, the dental researchers and basic scientists.  Each plays an important role in the future, and AADR is the only organization positioned to bring these groups together.  Then we will be able to have presentations that showcase the very best in all of these areas.


September 2008

J. Silvio Gutkind, Ph.D. is Chief of the Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Dr. Gutkind received his Ph.D. in pharmacy and biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He came to NIH in 1986 as an International Fogarty Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health, to study neuropeptide receptor function in individual brain nuclei.

Gutkind joined the National Cancer Institute in 1988, where he carried out research on the normal and oncogenic function of non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinases. He subsequently moved to NIDCR, where he established a new program addressing the molecular basis of cancer, with emphasis on basic mechanisms of cell growth control and their dysregulation in squamous cell carcinogenesis and AIDS-malignancies.

In 1998, he was appointed as the Chief of the Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch. In addition, he has been on a number of editorial boards for scientific journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Oral Oncology, and Biochemistry and is the editor and co-editor of three books, Signaling Networks and Cell Cycle Control, Head and Neck Cancer, Emerging Perspectives, and Signal Transduction and Human Disease – all of which reflects his leadership role in the field.

Dr. Gutkind has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Institutes of Health Merit Award, the National Institute of Dental Research Director’s Exemplary Service Award, the Elliot Osserman Award, and the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Medicine & Pathology Research. He has organized several national and international symposia, and is a highly sought-after speaker, having delivered numerous keynote lectures at the most prestigious national and international meetings and conferences. He has published over 250 scientific manuscripts, including many studies in top-ranked journals (Brain Research, Biological Psychiatry, Life Science and Nature) and contributed numerous review articles and book chapters addressing both basic molecular mechanisms and oral cancer research.AADR Member since 2005

Ph.D., pharmacy & biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1985
Pharmacy degree, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1981

How did you first get involved with AADR?I joined because I felt that it was important to get to know other people in the [research] community.

Would you recommend joining AADR?
I would highly recommend joining [AADR]. AADR is making constant progress and makes it easy for students to join [with low-cost membership].

What do you find is the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?It provides a sense of community – meeting with people in the same field and same subject. I have learned a lot from it. As a speaker, I enjoy the feedback that I get and try to get a sense of what’s important to people working in other institutions. They provide cues to problems that I haven’t thought about – whether it be science, research or patient-oriented. Doing research can be isolating, and when you go to meetings you see what’s going on.

What is the best way to get involved in AADR?
The best way is to first attend the annual meetings; that is how you get to know who’s who on a face-to-face basis. The second way is to join a small group; I have found the interest groups to be quite useful. If I have a question in research, I can ask one of my colleagues. Science these days is a moving target, and there are so many opportunities to share information.

What do you want to see in the future for the AADR?I would like to see an email list or listserv for the small groups; it would make it easier to communicate quickly with the entire group. I would also like to see a Facebook type of site for the scientific community, where we have our profiles, and it’s an easy way to put everybody in touch.


August 2008

Dr. Moïse Desvarieux is the Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University and teaches the "Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease" course. As an infectious disease epidemiologist, Dr. Desvarieux has two research focus areas covering the traditional field of infectious disease epidemiology and the newer interface of infectious and chronic diseases.
Throughout his career, he has served as Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator of seven externally funded research grants. Five of these grants have been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and one by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Desvarieux coordinates the INVEST study, an NIH-funded study in Northern Manhattan, as well as the international network investigating the oral health-cardiovascular disease relationship.

Dr. Desvarieux has published in Lancet, the American Journal of Public Health, Stroke, Circulation, the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Atherosclerosis, among others.

AADR Member since 1999

B.A./ Latin, French Literature, Institution St-Louis de Gonzague, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1982
M.D./ Medicine, Faculté de Médecine, Universite d’Haiti, 1986
A.E.A./ Tropical Medicine, Faculté de Médecine X. Bichat, University of Paris, France, 1988
D.M.M. / Medical Mycology, The Pasteur Institute, Paris, France, 1989
M.P.H./ Epidemiology, Columbia School of Public Health, New York, 1991
Ph.D./ Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Columbia University, Graduate School
of Arts and Sciences, New York, 1997

How did you first get involved with AADR?
I was using the Journal of Dental Research as a resource guide and thought it would be worthwhile to get into it [AADR] and meet other researchers. I knew other people who were members and liked that it was a different type of research. I work on traditional diseases as they relate to oral health.

What do you find is the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?The conferences are definitely worthwhile because I meet colleagues doing different types of research. When I meet with colleagues, it sparks new cooperation. I like the fact that you can meet with representatives from NIDCR and have more time to discuss issues with them.

What is the best way to get involved in AADR?
Presenting abstracts, joining committees, and doing poster presentations. I have chaired a number of oral sessions and presented almost every year.

What do you want to see in the future for AADR?I would like to see more cross-collaborative research and more interdisciplinary presentations. It [AADR] would benefit from being broadened to include microbiology and more physicians and neurologists.


July 2008

Dr. Kaumudi Joshipura is a Professor of Epidemiology and the National Institutes of Health Endowed Chair and Director of the Center for Clinical Research and Health Promotion at the University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry.  She is an adjunct professor at Harvard School of Public Health and also has an adjunct appointment at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

AADR Member since 1990

B.D.S, Bombay University
M.S. Biostatistics, Harvard
Sc.D., Epidemiology, Harvard

Dr. Joshipura has over 70 publications on subjects such as periodontitis, inflammation, nutrition, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and pregnancy outcomes.  A member of the Journal of Dental Research editorial board, she has published in major medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation and the New England Journal of Medicine.  She was among the first to show prospectively that tooth loss and/or periodontal disease are risk factors for coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke and peripheral artery disease.

Her article relating poor oral health to coronary heart disease is currently the most-cited in the Journal of Dental Research.  Dr. Joshipura was among the first to show the effect of tooth loss on intake-specific foods and nutrients in a manner that is detrimental to health.  She is also actively involved with evaluating nutritional risk factors for chronic diseases.

Dr. Joshipura’s NIH grants have focused on assessing the impact of dental disease on systemic disease, as well as evaluating dietary, inflammatory and other pathways for these associations.  She has been the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded grant evaluating the association among periodontal disease, inflammatory biomarkers and CHD, and is a co-investigator of a grant assessing the relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes.  She currently has an RO1 grant to assess the association among periodontal disease, inflammation and ischemic stroke and peripheral vascular disease.  Dr. Joshipura continues to play an active role in mentoring Master’s and Doctoral students at the University of Puerto Rico and Harvard.

When did you first attend an AADR meeting?I first attended as a student member in the early 1990s when I decided to go into research.  As a student, it is important to join – the AADR is definitely one organization that brings it all together.

What do you find is the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
The networking and camaraderie are very valuable.  I like going to the meetings and getting the newsletters.  I also go to the Web site when I need to find some information about my colleagues.  [The organization] is a good way to form networks and work together for common goals.  I love research and I enjoy mentoring.  I like to see my mentees accomplish their goals and enjoy seeing them receive awards at the conferences.

What do you want to see in the future for the AADR?I would like to see more cross-collaborative speakers present at the conferences; bring in experts from other areas of research.  And I would like to see AADR/IADR members have a presence at other conferences. 


June 2008

Daniel Malamud, Ph.D., professor of basic science and craniofacial biology, professor of medicine (infectious disease) and director of the HIV/AIDS research program, New York University, College of Dentistry and College of Medicine

AADR Member since 1980


B.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
M.A., Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
Post-doctoral training, Fels Research Institute, Temple University Medical School.

Dr. Malamud specializes in oral-based diagnostics and the development of novel anti-HIV agents.   His research has been continuously funded for over 30 years, and currently he is the PI on two cross-collaborative National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) grants:  (1) to develop a point-of-care microfluidic device for the diagnosis of multiple bacterial and viral pathogens, and (2) to define the interactions between host defense molecules and bacteria in HIV infection and subsequent anti-retroviral therapy.

Dr. Malamud has presented at numerous AADR and IADR meetings throughout his career, and published dozens of articles in scientific journals, including the Journal of Dental Research, Advances in Dental Research, Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, the American Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

What do you find is the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
The most valuable benefit of being part of the AADR is attending an AADR meeting.  The AADR meeting offers networking opportunities with other scientists in salivary diagnostics, and is the only meeting where I am able to see some colleagues.

When did you first attend an AADR meeting?I attended my first AADR meeting after accepting a position at the University of Pennsylvania.  It was my first appointment within a dental school, and the dean recommended the AADR meeting.  I attended my first meeting in 1978.

What do you want to see in the future for the AADR?
I would like to see exciting speakers from non-traditional dental backgrounds speak at AADR meetings—specifically, individuals who excel in their area of expertise, and who can show links to how their work would translate for dental and craniofacial research applications. 


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