Research News

Posted on: Wednesday, 01/15/2014

Discovering Signs of Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. David Wong's headshotPancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Most of those with the disease will die within the first year of diagnosis, and just 6 percent will survive five years.

The disease is typically diagnosed through an invasive and complicated biopsy. But a discovery by Dr. David Wong, Associate Dean of Research and the Felix and Mildred Yip Endowed Professor in Dentistry, and his team may be one major step toward creating a noninvasive tool that would enable clinicians and oncologists to detect pancreatic cancer through a simple risk assessment test using saliva.

Their findings are published in an issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Biological Chemistry. Read the full press release.

Highlighting Advancements in Nanotechnology

Dr. Dean Ho's headshotDr. Dean Ho, Professor in the Section of Oral Biology, co-authored one of the most comprehensive assessments to date of research on nanomedicine-based approaches to treating cancer. The review offers insight into how researchers can best position nanomedicine-based cancer treatments for FDA approval.

In collaboration with Edward Chow, assistant professor at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and the National University of Singapore, their research review was published online by the peer-reviewed journal, Science Translational Medicine.

Ho and Chow describe the paths that nanotechnology-enabled therapies could take — and the regulatory and funding obstacles they could encounter — as they progress through safety and efficacy studies. Read the full press release.

Advocating for Salivary Diagnostics

At the American Dental Association's Annual Convention, which was held in October, Dr. David Wong and his team, including David Akin and Maha Yakob at the ADA's Annual Convention, presented their cutting-edge research on "salivary diagnostics".

Team members had the opportunity to present their findings in the Professional Product Review session and the response was overwhelming. They showed that through an noninvasive, chair-side test, clinicians could determine whether a patient with dry mouth will have an autoimmune disease such as Sjorgren's Syndrome.

Early detection is key to preventing the advancement of life-threatening diseases, and salivary diagnostics is invaluable to the prevention and detection process.

Read the full article from the ADA.

Collaborative Research Endeavors

The American Association of Endodontists has awarded Drs. Mo Kang, Reuben Kim, and Ki-Hyuk Shin, $600,000, to fund their research proposal, “Cell-Based Therapies in Endodontic Regeneration” for the next six years. This award was made in response to the foundation's Request for Application in, “Clinical Research In Regenerative Endodontics."

The project will be a cross collaboration with the School of Dentistry and several other research institutions, including Dr. Songtao Shi (USC), Dr. Ilan Rotstein (USC), Dr. Eui-SeongKim (Yonsei Univ. Korea), and Dr. Sang-Hyuk Park (Kyunghee Univ. Korea). The study will test the efficacy of autologous transplantation of pulp stem cells on pulp-dentin regeneration. Congratulations to the research team.

New Grants & Contracts

(October 1, 2013 - January 10, 2014)

PI NameSponsorProject TitleTotal BudgetProject Period
Dr. Honghu Li National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research PATIENT- REPORTED ORAL HEALTH OUTCOMES MEASUREMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM $2,669,548 09/25/13 - 05/31/17
Dr. Sanjay Mallya National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research CYCLIN D1 AND VITAMIN D SIGNALING IN ORAL KERATINOCYTE PATHOPHYSIOLOGY $231,000 09/26/13 - 08/31/15
Dr. Cun-Yu Wang & Dr. Reuben Kim National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research EPIGENETIC CONTROL OF HPV- ASSOCIATED ORAL CARCINOGENESIS $2,266,750 09/17/13 - 08/31/18