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Eastman Faculty, Alumni Play Key Role in Nationwide Research Network

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Eastman Institute for Oral Health alumni, faculty and hygienists are participating in a national research network that’s producing an unprecedented knowledge base and will lead to improved patient care faster than ever before.

The National Dental Practice Based Research Network has been so successful that it was recently awarded $22.4 million for another seven years (2019-2026) by the National Institute Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of National Institutes of Health.

Initially in 2005, NIDCR funded three different dental practice based research networks that included 1700 practitioners from 43 states. This success led NIDCR to fund a more consolidated effort by establishing the National Dental Practice Based Research Network in 2012, led by the University of Alabama.

This network, initially funded through Fall 2019, and currently funded through 2026, is comprised of six geographical regions. Eastman Institute for Oral Health runs the northeast region and has enrolled 1,100 providers to date among the 7,000 practitioners nationwide. Many of these have participated in various studies to investigate research questions and share experiences and expertise. Nearly 63,900 patients have participated in various studies.

“The dental practice-based research network is a unique investigative union of real-world practicing clinicians and academic clinical scientists that aims to improve the nation’s oral health by expanding the knowledge base for clinical decision-making and moving the latest evidence into routine care,” said Cyril Meyerowitz, DDS, MS, director emeritus and professor, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, School of Medicine and Dentistry and grant regional principal investigator. “The network is a precious national resource for our profession and our patients, and we are fortunate that NIDCR has invested in the future of our profession.”

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COB Director Robert Quivey Stepping Down

Monday, December 16, 2019

Robert G. Quivey, Ph.D., is stepping down as director of the Center for Oral Biology (COB) and Margaret and Cy Welcher Professor in Dental Research. He will remain in that role until a new director is named, and will continue as professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

A widely published and accomplished scientist in the area of Streptococcus mutans, Dr. Quivey and his team have worked to gain a better understanding of the biology behind the how and why the organism causes dental caries, known to most people as cavities.  Recently, the work of Dr. Quivey and two graduate students, Chris Kovacs and Andrew Bischer was featured on the cover of the scientific journal Molecular Microbiology. Their results not only provide new insights into how cavities form, but also into how other species of streptococci cause disease in humans.   

Dr. Quivey, whose work has been continuously funded for more than 35 years, was named COB director in 2009, when Eastman Institute for Oral Health was established, uniting the clinical, education, basic and clinical research components under single leadership. Dr. Quivey received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Penn State and his PhD from the University of Texas. He came to Rochester for post-doctoral training in microbiology in 1984 as an NIH-NIDCR post-doctoral trainee, and subsequently joined the faculty in 1988.  

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Laser and Light Therapy Recommended for Cancer Patients’ Oral Mucositis

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

New, updated guidelines will provide health care professionals with better tools to deliver care for cancer patients who suffer from oral mucositis.

Frequently manifested as painful sores and ulcers, oral mucositis is often reported by patients to be one of the worst side effects of cancer treatment. Pain from the condition can slow or delay cancer treatment, and in severe cases require parenteral feeding and hospitalization.

Among several updated guidelines, Dr. Sharon Elad and her team recommend  photobiomodulation therapy, a form of low-dose light therapy, as one of the most effective interventions for preventing oral mucositis.

Sharon Elad, DMD MSc, professor at UR Medicine’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health, led the effort in developing  new guidelines in her role as chair of the Mucositis Study Group within the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO). The group's goal is to improve outcomes of patients experiencing oral and gastrointestinal mucositis associated with cancer therapies. Working on multiple fronts, the Mucositis Study Group includes 245 members from 33 countries. 

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EIOH Adds Dental Public Health Residency to its Specialty Programs

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Eastman Institute for Oral Health, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, has added public health to its wide range of post-doctoral dental training programs.

Formerly sponsored by the New York State Department of Health, this residency program is designed for dentists planning careers in dental public health. This program prepares dentists, who have a master’s degree in dental public health, with a broad scope of didactic instruction and practical experience in dental public health practice.

As the oldest Dental Public Health residency program and Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved since 1966, it is now sponsored by Eastman Institute for Oral Health and called the New York State Dental Public Health Residency Program.

As a research-based residency program, the residents will learn numerous public health competencies, such as how to manage oral health programs for population health, design surveillance systems for oral health, communicate and educate on oral and public health issues, advocate for public health policy, legislation and regulation.

Eastman Institute for Oral Health is accepting three full-time residents for the one-year program, and two part-time residents who can complete the program over two years. Residents can participate from Eastman Institute or its program affiliates at the NYS Department of Health, School of Public Health at the State University at New York in Albany and Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

“Rotations will be site specific, but all residents visit Albany to get experience in advocacy and health policy development, legislation and regulation,” said Sangeeta Gajendra, DDS, MPH, program director and associate professor and clinical chief of Eastman’s Community Dentistry and Oral Disease Prevention. “The residents will also attend a hearing in the NYS State Senate or House.”

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UR Ranks Ninth for NIH-Funded Oral Health Research

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The University of Rochester /Eastman Institute for Oral Health has recently been ranked as the ninth top funded institution by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of National Institutes of Health.

“We are pleased that our work in the basic, clinical and translational arenas continues to be valued,” said Eli Eliav, D.M.D., Ph.D., director, Eastman Institute for Oral Health and vice dean for Oral Health, School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Throughout its history, Eastman has consistently ranked in the top 10 NIDCR-funded institutions. The ranking is especially significant because the University of Rochester’s dentistry and oral biology research arm--through Eastman Institute for Oral Health--is much smaller compared to the other high-ranking institutions.

This NIDCR/NIH ranking reflects fiscal year 2018. New York University and State University of New York at Buffalo ranked 10 and 11, respectively. In previous years, also solely for NIDCR/NIH funding, the University of Rochester ranked 10 in fiscal year 2017 and 12 in fiscal year 2016.

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Dr. Hsu’s Research Renews Again for 18-Year Total

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Wei Hsu, Ph.D., dean’s professor in the Department of Biomedical Genetics in the Center for Oral Biology and a scientist with the Eastman Institute for Oral Health received a five-year grant renewal for $2.58 million.

The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research funded grant, Genetic Regulatory Network in Craniofacial Development, allows him and co-investigator Dr. Takamitsu Maruyama, research assistant professor of Dentistry, to continue efforts to decipher the skeletogenic signaling network underlying craniofacial development and disease.

The primary objective is to investigate the fundamental mechanisms underlying skeletogenesis with a specific emphasis on how skeletal stem cells are maintained at undifferentiated state, how the decision is made for them to become bone (osteoblast) or cartilage (chondro-cyte) cells and how aberrant regulation of these processes lead to skeletal deformities.

“We currently focus on the interplay of Wnt, FGF and BMP pathways,” Dr. Hsu explained. “By elucidating the mechanism underlying skeletal development mediated by these regulatory networks, we hope to advance the knowledge base of human diseases.”

Read More: Dr. Hsu’s Research Renews Again for 18-Year Total