Research News

Posted on: Friday, 10/28/2016

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Faculty Makes Recommendations on Ways to Improve Oral Health Care Capacity

Dr. James Crall, professor and chair of the Division of Public Health and Community Dentistry, was the lead author on an article published in the journal, Health Affairs. The article outlines recommendations for closing the gap in oral health services. Strategies discussed in the article to help expand oral health care capacity include adding dental clinics at federally qualified health centers that currently do not provide dental services (co-locating medical and dental services) and providing support for infrastructure enhancements and quality improvement.

The successful tactics that Dr. Crall refers to in the article were used in the UCLA-First 5 LA Oral Health Program, a program funded by First 5 LA — an early childhood advocacy organization in Los Angeles County. Dr. Crall collaborated with article co-author, Dr. Nadereh Pourat, a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the School of Dentistry and Dr. Moira Inkelas, an assistant professor at the Fielding School.

A related communications piece, focused on California, was issued by Children Now, First 5 LA and the UCLA School of Dentistry. The policy brief; Strengthening Dental Care for Children Utilizing California’s Federally Qualified Health Centers, outlines four recommendations to expand the capacity of California’s FQHCs to provide quality oral health care to young children across the state. Authors of the brief unanimously urge policymakers to provide support for the recommendations to expand FQHC capacity.

For the full press release on the Health Affairs article. For the policy brief focused on California.


Researchers May Be Able to Personalize Drug Therapy to Treat Pediatric Leukemia

Dr. Dean Ho and his collaborators from the School of Engineering have demonstrated that their technology called Phenotypic Personalized Medicine (PPM) may go a long way toward overcoming the challenges of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is among the most common types of cancer in children.

PPM is a digital health platform that they discovered earlier this year, which has the potential to help doctors personalize drug doses. The technology has the ability to accurately identify a person’s optimal drug and dose combinations throughout an entire course of treatment. In addition, the technology platform does not require any complex and expensive analysis of a patient’s genetic information or the biological basis of the disease, greatly accelerating the ability to optimize and personalize care.

The team’s findings appear online in the peer-reviewed journal SLAS Technology, which features innovations in technology for drug development and diagnostics.


Researchers Featured in Official NASA Publication

A research team, made up of Drs. Kang Ting, Jin-Hee Kwak and Ben Wu, along with colleague Dr. Chi Soo from the medical school, who launched rats in space to test a potential new therapy for accelerating bone growth in humans, was featured in the official magazine of the International Space Station National Lab.

The study is currently testing the ability of a bone-forming molecule called NELL-1 to direct stem cells to induce bone formation and prevent bone degeneration. Their work builds upon previous UCLA studies that were funded by the NIH.

For the original press release of the study.


Bringing Together the Research Community

The Division of Advanced Prosthodontics organized a conference on the weekend of Nov. 12-13, titled “Craniomaxillofacial Disorders and Solutions in Man and Animals.” The conference was held at the newly opened Luskin Conference Center and featured presentations by top scientists from UCLA, UC Davis, Harvard, Cornel, and U. Penn. A special presentation by an FDA officials discussed a new paradigm of clinical and translational science platforms involving both human and companion animal patients.

Guests were also treated to a special dinner presentation on Saturday evening from guest speaker, Dr. Barbara Horowitz, who is a physician at the UCLA Cardiology Department, and the author of New York Times best seller, . The event lent itself to valuable networking opportunities, which could lead to valuable future collaborations.

The conference was a collaboration between the UCLA School of Dentistry and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional sponsors of the event include the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Foundation for Oral-facial Rehabilitation, Fuji Film, One Health Day, and the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Dr. Ogawa Leads Research on UV Light Treatment

Dr. Takahiro Ogawa, a professor in the section of prosthodontics and member of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, was the lead author of a research paper that was published in the November issue of Biomaterials. His research titled, “Novel antioxidant capability of titanium induced by UV light treatment,” showed that cells express various stress markers and cytokines in contact with biomaterials. Titanium is not an exception. However, when titanium is pre-treated with UV light, the stress level of osteoblasts is significantly low so that they can adhere well and initiate function more rapidly.

The research was highlighted by Dr. Ogawa’s collaborator, Tokyo Medical Dental University, and was also covered by the Dental Tribune and GlobalMedicalDiscovery.com.


Examing the Benefits of 3D Technology

Dr. Catherine Cagino, a maxillofacial prosthetics resident, received third place at a poster competition at the 63rd Annual meeting of the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. Dr. Cagino co-presented her poster with Mr. Yun Chang Lee, a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering, on the "Fabrication of an interim nasal prosthesis via rapid prototyping."

The project focused on the development of 3D printing technology in the fabrication of facial prostheses. The goal of such technology is to decrease time involved for fabrication and increase access to care, as 3D printers are commercially available. Their case report describes a technique for prosthetic reconstruction of a nasal defect using an extra oral scan and rapid prototyping to fabricate an interim prosthesis. Faculty mentors included Dr. Jay Jayanetti, director of MFP Program, and Dr. Benjamin Wu, chair of the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics.


New Grants (7/1/16 - 12/16/16)

PI Name
Sponsor
Project Title
Total Budget
Project Period
Christine Hong AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ORTHODONTISTS FOUNDATION PRECLINICAL EVALUATION OF NANODIAMOND- ENHANCED ESTROGEN DELIVERY IN PALATAL EXPANSION $30,000 07/01/16 - 06/30/17
Christine Hong NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DENTAL AND CRANIOFACIAL RESEARCH THE MOLECULAR REGULATION OF NGF- MEDIATED DIFFERENTIATION OF DENTAL PULP STEM CELLS $231,000 08/01/16 - 07/31/18
Jin-Hee Kwak AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ORTHODONTISTS FOUNDATION ORTHODONTIC FACULTY DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIP AWARD (OFDFA) $20,000 07/01/16 - 06/30/17
No-Hee Park/Paulo Camargo DHHS/HEALTH RESOURCES & SERVICES ADMINISTRATION DENTAL REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM $491,392 07/01/16 - 02/28/17
Francisco Ramos-Gomez CA/OFFICE OF STATEWIDE HEALTH & PLANNING COMMUNITY ORAL HEALTH WORKERS PROJECT  $40,000 06/27/16 - 06/26/17
Wenyuan Shi NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DENTAL AND CRANIOFACIAL RESEARCH STUDYING THE PROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF NORMAL ORAL FLORA $1,765,203 08/01/16 - 07/31/21
Igor Spigelman NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON ALCOHOL ABUSE AND ALCOHOLISM SYNAPTIC MECHANISMS OF HPA AXIS DYSREGULATION IN ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE $1,732,500 09/15/16 - 06/30/21
Alireza Moshaverinia NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DENTAL AND CRANIOFACIAL RESEARCH CRANIOFACIAL DISEASES AND SOLUTIONS IN MAN AND ANIMALS $8,000 09/05/16 - 08/31/17
Paulo Camargo THE NICHOLAS ENDOWMENT IMPROVING THE ORAL HEALTH OF THE LOS ANGELES, SANTA MONICA, VENICE AND SOUTH BAY INDIGENT POPULATION $50,000 01/01/17 - 12/31/17
Nancy Reifel RIVERSIDE- SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY INDIAN HEALTH, INC. RIVERSIDE- SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY INDIAN HEALTH, INC. OUTREACH PROGRAM $100,000 07/01/16 - 06/30/17
Wenyuan Shi NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DENTAL AND CRANIOFACIAL RESEARCH SHEDDING LIGHT ON MICROBIAL DARK MATTER $151,496 01/01/17 - 12/31/21
Kang Ting BONE BIOLOGICS BIOACTIVITY TEST FOR NELL- 1 $249,615 02/01/15 - 03/31/17

 

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