News & Events
08/18-Catherine Ovitt Discovers How Cells May Restore Cancer Patients' Salivary Gland Function.The Associate Professor of Biomedical Genetics published her lab's findings in Cell Reports, detailing the ways in which the cells that secret saliva may be stimulated to repair damage done by radiation
10/17-A scientific team at the University of Rochester is using innovative technology to discover preventative treatments for salivary gland radiation damage typical for head and neck cancer patients—and recently received a $3.8 million National Institutes of Health grant to support their investigation.
Cancer patients can lose salivary gland function during treatment for head and neck tumors. The irreversible damage, which prevents patients from producing saliva, often results in permanent dry mouth and makes it difficult to eat, speak, and swallow. The team will develop salivary gland tissues using a unique chip technology called “microbubbles,” which are tiny spherical wells or bubbles that can hold cells.
The use of the microbubble platform is based on several years of salivary gland research, led by Catherine E. Ovitt, Ph.D., associate professor of Biomedical Genetics, a member of the UR Center for Oral Biology, and an expert in the repair and regeneration of salivary glands, and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., associate professor of Biomedical Engineering and an expert in drug delivery systems and hydrogel platforms for tissue engineering approaches. Together with Lisa A. DeLouise, Ph.D., associate professor of Dermatology and Biomedical Engineering, who developed and received several patents for the microbubble concept, the scientists are working as co-principal investigators on the NIH project. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/5169/bubbles-boost-search-for-treatment-to-aid-head-and-neck-cancer-patients.aspx.
10/17- Center for Oral Biology Lands Third Training Grant from NIDCR- The $2.9 million grant, awarded to EIOH's Center for Oral Biology, will be used to expand the center's renowned training program for oral biologists and dentist-scientists.
9/2017- NIH awards $15 million to support development of 3-D human tissue models. One award designated to the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. Danielle S. Benoit, Ph.D., Lisa A. Delouise, Ph.D., and Catherine Ovitt, Ph.D. Engineered Salivary Gland Tissue Chips; Grant Number: 1-UG3-DE-027695-01
11/2016- The Center for Oral Biology is deeply saddened by Dr. William Bowen's passing, 11/15/2016. http://www.anthonychapels.com/obituaries/William-Bowen-13/#!/Obituary
11/2016-The Democrat & Chronicle interviews Dr. Catherine Ovitt about her position as a medical scientist. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2016/11/12/hot-jobs-medical-scientists/93062408/
7/2016- Dr. Takamitsu Maruyama is 1 out of 9 awardees to win the 2016 ASBMR Harold M. Frost Young Investigator award. He will present his study of craniofacial bone stem cell in the upcoming Sun Vally conference.
5/2016- Dr. Catherine Ovitt, Associate Professor of Biomedical Genetics in the Center for Oral Biology, voted by the members of the Salivary Research Group as Salivary Researcher of the Year!
4/2016- Dr. Wei Hsu, Dean's Professor of Biomedical Genetics in the Center for Oral Biology & Professor of Oncology, is featured on Channel 13 News (http://13wham.com/news/local/stem-cell-breakthrough-at-urmc-may-soon-help-tiniest-patients)
4/2016- Dr. William Bowen, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology & Immunology in the Center for Oral Biology and of Environmental Medicine, was recently elected as an Inaugural Class Fellow of the American Association For Dental Research. This is a new honor presented by the AADR. He was nominated by many and selected for recognition of his long term membership, service to the association, meeting participation, publication records, mentoring accomplishments, and also due to the many awards that he's received throughout his research career.
4/2016- Catherine Ovitt, Associate Professor of Biomedical Genetics in the Center for Oral Biology, is one of this year's three recipients of the 2016 IADR Innovation in Oral Care Awards. The project will focus on limiting the incidence of radiation – induced xerostomia (dry mouth) to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.
3/2016- Marit Aure, Ph.D. is granted a second year of funding from the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation.
2/2016- Wei Hsu's Lab Discovers Stem Cells Capable of Repairing Skull, Face Bones-https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/4487/scientists-discover-stem-cells-capable-of-repairing-skull-face-bones.aspx. NIDCR also features this discovery: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/ResearchResults/NewsReleases/#
5/2015- Pei-Lun Weng, graduate student in Dr. Catherine Ovitt's laboratory, was awarded one of 3 Poster prizes for graduate students for his poster entitled " Ascl3 is a common marker for secretory cell precursors in different organs", presented at the 27th Annual Genetics Day. Genetics Day is sponsored by the Departments of Biomedical Genetics and Biology, The Fred Sherman Endowment Fund, and The University Committee for Interdisciplinary Studies.
3/2015- Dr. William Bowen was named the 2015 recipient of the Irwin D. Mandel Distinguished Mentoring Award by the American Association for Dental Research.
3/2015 –Heng (Henry) Lin, DDS, PhD, a new postdoctoral association in EIOH’s Center for Oral Biology, won a research award at IADR. Full story: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/Dentistry/Word-of-Mouth/April-2015/Heng-Lin-DDS-PhD-Earns-Research-Award.aspx
1/2015 – Alejandro Avilés Reyes, a graduate student in the laboratory of Drs. José Lemos and Jacqueline Abranches, has been selected for the 2015 Arnold Bleiweis Travel Award, to present his work entitled "Modification of Streptococcus mutans Cnm by a novel glycosylation pathway."
Mr. Avilés Reyes will give his presentation during the upcoming General Session of the International Association for Dental Research Conference, to be held March 10-14, 2015 in Boston, MA, as part of the first Robert Marquis Mini-Symposium for Young Investigators in Microbiology and Immunology.
Alejandro is currently working on the characterization of Cnm, a collagen-binding protein produced by invasive Streptococcus mutans. The Lemos-Abranches lab focuses on characterization of the stress-response mechanisms of Gram-positive bacteria and their contribution to virulence and disease.
7/2014 – Postdoctoral Associate Marit Aure, Ph.D., of the Center for Oral Biology in the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, tied for first place at the highly-competitive International Association for Dental Research/Johnson & Johnson Hatton Awards Competition held recently in Cape Town, South Africa. Further information can be found here.
7/2014 – Dr. Catherine Ovitt has been awarded a Wilmot Cancer Center’s Basic or Translational Research Pilot award of $50K, effective 7/1/2014.
The title of this proposal is "A Genetic Model for Salivary Gland Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma." The major goal of this proposal is to develop a model that can be used for the molecular investigation of adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the salivary gland. The second-most common of all salivary gland malignancies, ACC is an aggressive cancer, with very poor prognosis.
6/2014 – Dr. Szilvia Arany is promoted from a Postdoctoral Associate to Research Assistant Professor of Dentistry in the Center for Oral Biology as of 6/1/14.
Szilvia has been working as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Dr. Catherine Ovitt's laboratory since 2009. Prior to Rochester, she trained in Japan and in her native country of Hungary. She is a dentist-scientist, including residency training in oral maxillo-facial surgery at EDC. Szlvia is more than a highly capable clinician-scientist. She is also a positive person with a great sense of humor who adds greatly to the scientific depth and camaraderie of Catherine's lab, the Center for Oral Biology, and the EIOH.
6/2014 – Dr. Wei Hsu is one of six UR scientists to receive New York State Stem Cell Board (NYSTEM) Funding.
Dr. Hsu’s award of $1,061,020 will be used to investigate the use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat craniosynostosis. The condition is one of the most common birth defects and occurs when growth centers in the skull – known as sutures—prematurely close and change the growth pattern in the skull. NYSTEM and the Empire State Stem Cell Board were created in 2008 to provide grants for basic, applied, translational, and other research and development activities that will advance scientific discoveries in the field of stem cell biology.
6/2014 – The annual AADR local chapter meeting was held at the Eastman Dental Center on Tuesday, June 10th.
Dr. Catherine Ovitt provided the keynote address and several oral presentations and posters were provided. Each year participants compete for three titles, the Bibby, Buonocore, and Bowen awards. This year, 4 out of 5 awards were given to the Center for Oral Biology participants.
3/2014 – Wei Hsu, Ph.D., is one of the six scientists from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry who has been recommended awards of more than $3.5 million by NYSTEM. Read more about this news item.
3/2014 – Marit Aure, Ph.D, Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Catherine Ovitt's lab, has earned 2nd place in the 2014 AADR/Johnson & Johnson Hatton Awards Competition.
Marit will now compete in the IADR Unilever Hatton Competition and Awards at the 92nd General Session & Exhibition of the IADR in Cape Town, South Africa, June 25-28, 2014.
10/2013 – Dr. Catherine Ovitt has been accepted to the 2013 Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar to be held in Austin, TX in mid December.
This three and a half-day seminar is primarily designed for women physicians and scientists holding medical school appointments at the Associate Professor level, and holding leadership positions within their discipline, department or institution. Seminar faculty members are chosen from various schools in the US and Canada for their demonstrated leadership abilities and offer knowledge, inspiration and valuable career advice to participants.
10/2013 – Dr. Jiang Fu (member of Dr. Wei Hsu's lab) receives an American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Postdoc Travel Award to attend the ASCB Annual Meeting in New Orleans from December 14-18, 2013.
9/2013 – Drs. Takamitsu Maruyama & Ming Jiang (members of Dr. Wei Hsu's lab) are co-recipients of the 2013 Raisz-Drezner Award. Read more about this news item.
9/2013 – Dr. Takamitsu Maruyama (member of Dr. Wei Hsu's lab) selected to receive this year's Young Investigator Award at the ASMBR Meeting.
He will present his talk in a "Distinguished Oral Presentation" section.
7/2013 – Drs. Catherine Ovitt, Szilvia Arany, and Danielle Benoit featured in a Research@URMC Blog. Read the blog item.
7/2013 – Drs. Catherine Ovitt & Szilvia Arany featured on NIDCR website.
"Nanoparticle-mediated gene silencing confers radioprotection to salivary glands in vivo"