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Latest Grants & Awards

Robert Quivey, Ph.D.
Welcher Professor in Dental Research in the Center for Oral Biology
Director, Center for Oral Biology
Training Program in Oral Science- T90/R90

The major goal of this training program is train oral scientists, citizens (T90) and non-citizens (R90), to develop an interdisciplinary approach to study oral health related issues.

Wei Hsu, Ph.D.
Dean's Professor of Biomedical Genetics in the Center for Oral Biology
NIH/ NIDCR-  6/1/18-5/31/23
Stem Cells for Craniofacial Bone Repair and Regeneration.
The objective of this proposal is to further elucidate the mechanism underlying skeletal repair and regeneration mediated by newly identified suture stem cells. Our goal is to explore their potential use for stem cell-based therapy and to advance our knowledge base of regenerative medicine.

NIH/ NIDCR-  2/12/19-1/31/24
Genetic Regulatory Network in Craniofacial Development
The objective of this competing renewal is to continue his efforts to decipher the skeletogenic signaling network underlying craniofacial development and disease.

Catherine Ovitt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Genetics in the Center for Oral Biology
NIH/ NIDCR-  8/7/18-7/31/21
Single Chemosensory Cells in the Salivary Gland.
Aim 1: To establish that SCCs are active in the salivary glands; Aim 2: Investigate a role for SSCs in the SG immune response to Sjogren’s syndrome.

NIH/NIDCR- 08/01/17-8/31/22
Engineered Salivary Gland Tissue Chips
Specific Aims include: Specifically for UG3, Aim 1 will use genetically labeled mouse acinar and duct cells to identify culture characteristics that maximize gland tissue mimetic function. Acinar and duct cell seeding ratios and densities will be varied in ‘blank’, extracellular matrix protein-functionalized, and in hydrogels all within MBs. Aim 2 (UG3) will validate the ability of human salivary gland cells to cellularly organize and maintain function in our previously developed macrogels and in within hydrogels in MBs, similarly to mouse cells in Aim 1. Our goal is to demonstrate functional human gland mimetic development in MB arrays by end of UG3. The UH3 phase will investigate hydrogel microenvironmental cues to further promote gland mimetic organization and function. Finally, Aim 3 will demonstrate the utility of gland mimetics by screening FDA-approved drugs to identify effective radioprotective agents. These compounds will be retroductally injected into mice to validate radioprotective potential. Successful development of salivary tissue chips will be transformative; by enabling in vitro analysis of functional gland mimetics, our ability to pursue therapeutic strategies, radioprotective and regenerative, will be dramatically improved.

NIH/ NIDCR-  3/1/21-2/28/26
Cellular Plasticity in Salivary Gland Regeneration
This proposal will (1) determine the role of cellular plasticity in the response to injury in the salivary glands; (2) examine the capacity of acinar and duct cells to undergo conversion to generate cells of the other lineage; and (3) investigate the potential of stimulated endogenous cells to repair radiation-damaged salivary glands.

Takamitsu Maruyama, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor of Dentistry in the Center for Oral Biology
NIH/ NIDCR-  4/1/19-8/31/21
The Essential Role of miR-27a in Craniofacial and Body Skeletons

Aim 1: The loss of miR-27a reduces bone formation. Aim 2: miR-27a is a negative regulator for OC differentiation. Aim 3: Molecular mechanisms underlying bone remodeling mediated by miR-27a

NIH/ NIDCR-  4/1/21-3/31/22
Identification and Characterization of Endogenous Dental Pulp Stem Cells
Aim1: Rigorous assessment of Axin2-expressing dental pulp cells as adult stem cells Aim2: Regenerative ability of Axin2-expressing DPSCs Aim3: Identification of cell types of endogenous DPSCs