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Periodontics and Oral Medicine


News & Events

Franceschi Team Finds Biomarker

Dr. Renny Franceschi and his team discovered a biomarker that may be important for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. This biomarker could potentially discriminate between tumor growth speeds, and provide a potential new drug target. This discovery was made while investigating bone formation. Read the press release

D’Silva Cancer, Nerve Cell Discovery

Nisha D’Silva and her team of researchers recently discovered that cancer cells do not invade nerves the way it was previously thought. The team observed that cancer cells actually move in an intricate dance-like way with the nerves. With this new knowledge, the team hopes to determine how to stop this dance. Read the press release

Drs. Giannobile and Kohn Leaders of New Michigan Regenerative Medicine Center

The School of Dentistry was selected by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to be one of 10 centers. The center will develop clinical applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The Michigan Regenerate Medicine Resource Center will be led by William Giannobile and David Kohn. Read the full article

Ramfjord GroupBrowse through the photos from the March 16-17, 2015 Ramjford Visiting Professorship Lecture at the Sigurd Ramfjord Visiting Professorship Lectures Flickr Page.

New research published today finds improved survival in head and neck cancer patients who took antacid medicines to control acid reflux as a side effect of their treatment. Our head and neck cancer specialists frequently prescribe two types of antacids – proton pump inhibitors or histamine 2 blockers – to patients experiencing acid reflux from their chemotherapy or radiation treatments. The study, led by Silvana Papagerakis, looked at nearly 600 patients. Read the press release for more details.

Dr. Bagramian traveled to Taiwan in 2013 and was honored at the 50th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the dental department at the Changhua Christian Hospital. In 1963, Dr. Bagramian went to the Changhua Christian Hospital as a young volunteer three years after graduating from dental school as part of a mission trip to set up a dental program. After also taught in a new dental school and conducted mobile medical/dental clinics in the remote mountain villages of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan. Bob was in Taiwan for close to three years and learned to speak the local Taiwanese language.  Watch video on
Rios TeamdentNEWS - Dr. Rios and his team receive first place award at the 11th International Symposium on Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry. Their research offers new insights into the development and progression of periodontal disease and may ultimately lead to enhanced diagnosis and treatment modalities.  Pictured from left:  Dr. Hector Rios, Dr. Miguel Padial, Dr. Juan Rodriguez and Sarah Volk.
2013 Ramfjord Visiting Professor Lecture
Myron Nevins, DDS, Invited Presentor
“Long Term Definitive Interdisciplinary Treatments for the Periodontally Compromised Patient”
see slideshow


W.Kershbaum photodentNEWS - Wendy Kerschbaum, RDH, MA, MPH, received the ADHA Educator of the Year Award in Phoenix, AZ at the ADHA Center for Lifelong Learning conference. Kerschbaum is pictured here with ADHA Executive Director, Ann Battrell (right).
M. InglehartdentNEWS - Prof. Marita Inglehart named Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science.  Fellowship status is awarded to APS Members who made sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, and/or application.
D. Kaigler U-M News Service - Led by Dr. Darnell Kaigler, researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research, in collaboration with Ann Arbor-based biosciences company Aastrom Biosciences, have discovered that using a patient’s stem cells to regrow craniofacial tissues may offer benefits that are currently unavailable versus traditional bone regeneration approaches.
International Team for Implantology Scholarship Center Established at U-M - Housed primarily at the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research (Clinical Research), ITI Scholars will work closely with graduate students and fellows at the School of Dentistry, providing a unique interdisciplinary experience.
Interview with Dr. Russell Taichman - Cancer Stem Cells and the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche 
Interview with Dr. Laurie McCauley - Fertilizing bone marrow helps answer why some cancers spread to bones.
dentNEWS - American Association of Public Health Dentistry Award Winners

Recent Studies

Personalize Your Patient Care

Furgeson D, Caplis AK, Gwozdek AE. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. October 2014;12(10):51–54.

This article provides insight on how classifying and treating patients based on risk and genetic biomarkers can improve health outcomes.  A significant focus of this piece is the study published in the JDR by Giannobile et al. (2013), "Patient Stratification for Preventive Care in Dentistry", that looked at dental claims from 5,117 participants (aged 34-55) over a 16 year period.  The results identified that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” model for preventive care -- those at high risk for periodontal disease may need to be seen for more frequent preventive care and those at low risk may not need the traditional two visits annually.

The Dimension’s article encourages oral health care professionals to apply a personalized approach to their patient care, understanding that salivary diagnostics can be useful in determining periodontal disease pathogen and host-response biomarkers. This, in addition to conducting a risk assessment as part of a comprehensive oral examination, can empower oral health care providers and patients to collaboratively set customized preventive care intervals. Online Article


Human and Murine Very Small Embryonic-Like Cells Represent Multipotent Tissue Progenitors, In Vitro and In Vivo

Aaron M. Havens AM, SunH, Shiozawa Y, Jung Y, Wang J, Mishra A, Jiang Y, O’Neill DW, Krebsbach PH, Rodgerson D, Taichman RS. Stem Cells and Development 2014 23(7):689-702.
The purpose of this study was to determine the lineage progression of human and murine very small embryonic-like (HuVSEL or MuVSEL) cells in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, HuVSEL and MuVSEL cells differentiated into cells of all three embryonic germlayers. HuVSEL cells produced robust mineralized tissue of human origin compared with controls in calvarial defects. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the HuVSEL cells gave rise to neurons, adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts within the calvarial defects. MuVSEL cells were also able to differentiate into similar lineages. First round serial transplants of MuVSEL cells into irradiated osseous sites demonstrated that ~60% of the cells maintained their VSEL cell phenotypewhile other cells differentiated intomultiple tissues at 3 months. Secondary transplants did not identify donor VSEL cells, suggesting limited self renewal but did demonstrate VSEL cell derivatives in situ for up to 1 year. At no point were teratomas identified. These studies show that VSEL cells produce multiple cellular structures in vivo and in vitro and lay the foundation for future cell-based regenerative therapies for osseous, neural, and connective tissue disorders. Download article

Bacterial and Salivary Biomarkers Predict the Gingival Inflammatory Profile

Kinney spotlight photoLee A, Ghaname CB, Braun TM, Sugai JV, Teles RP, Loesche WJ, Kornman KS, Giannobile WV, Kinney JS. Journal of Periodontology 2012 Jan 83(1):79-89.
Clinical Assistant Professor Janet Kinney (left) and the first author and former graduate periodontist resident Angie Lee (right) are pictured.
Gingivitis is a local inflammatory response to an oral infection.  Approximately 50% of the adult population has an average of 3 to 4 teeth with gingivitis.  Studies examining levels of pro-inflammatory and host regulatory biomarkers in oral fluids of different periodontal disease states have provided insight into the diagnostic and prognostic value of these fluids.  However, little is known about the value of combining a patient’s level of salivary biomarkers and presence of oral microorganisms as predictors of susceptibility to gingivitis.  This study identified salivary biomarkers IL-6 and MMP-1 which, when heightened at baseline, provide the greatest prediction of possible future gingival inflammation.  Research findings may help develop technologies to control or prevent gingivitis.

Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Use and Periodontal Health in United States Women Ages 15-44

Taichman spotlight photoTaichman LS, Sohn W, Kolenic G, Sowers MF. J Periodontol. 2012 Feb 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is a highly effective long lasting injectable contraceptive. Although many women use DMPA, a large portion of DMPA users are young, non-white women of low socio-economic status with a history of smoking, and thus, may be at an increased risk for periodontal diseases. Small clinical studies suggest that progestin-only contraceptives that contain a synthetic version of the sex hormone, progesterone, negatively impact periodontal tissues. This study reports that in a large nationally representative sample, women who are using DMPA, or have used DMPA in the past, have an increased risk of poor periodontal health as compared to women who have never used the injectable DMPA contraceptive. These findings suggest that women who use DMPA contraceptives should maintain good oral health habits and seek regular dental care. Furthermore, the study suggests that progesterone and its synthetic derivatives may place a woman at greater risk for periodontal diseases.   See online article »