Normal function of the salivary glands is critical for the maintenance of oral health. Radiation treatment of patients with head and neck cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome cause cellular damage in the salivary glands that is usually severe, irreversible, and impairs normal function. The long-range goal of this laboratory is to establish therapeutic strategies for repair or regeneration of the salivary glands. Basic research projects in our laboratory include the identification and characterization of progenitor cells involved in salivary gland development and regeneration, and the factors required for differentiation of secretory cells. Applied projects address strategies for protection of the salivary glands from radiation-induced damage, and for promoting regeneration of damaged glands.
Shubin AD, Felong TJ, Schutrum BE, Joe DS, Ovitt CE, Benoit DS. "Encapsulation of primary salivary gland cells in enzymatically degradable poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels promotes acinar cell characteristics." Acta biomaterialia.. 2017 Mar 1; 50:437-449. Epub 2016 Dec 27.
Weng PL, Vinjamuri M, Ovitt CE. "Ascl3 transcription factor marks a distinct progenitor lineage for non-neuronal support cells in the olfactory epithelium." Scientific reports.. 2016 Dec 2; 6:38199. Epub 2016 Dec 02.
Maruyama EO, Aure MH, Xie X, Myal Y, Gan L, Ovitt CE. "Cell-Specific Cre Strains For Genetic Manipulation in Salivary Glands." PloS one. 2016 11(1):e0146711. Epub 2016 Jan 11.
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