Dr. Sasaki received his DDS (in 1989) and PhD (in 1998) from the Iwate Medical University, Morioka, Japan. Prior to coming to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow, Assistant Member, and Associate Member of the Staff in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA. He joined the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, and Endodontics at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in March 2017.
Apical periodontitis is an inflammatory disease caused by root canal infection. Apical periodontitis is a consequence of highly complex biological processes including (but not limited to) bacterial infection, immune response, bone remodeling, and systemic metabolic disorders.
Dr. Sasaki is a dentist-researcher and has been working extensively in the field of apical periodontitis and marginal periodontitis. He aims to integrate various scientific approaches and findings as “dental inflammology" for prevention and cure of dental inflammations.
His findings contributed to an understanding of the functional network of immune cells and cytokines (small proteins inducing cell signaling). He currently focuses on the role of damage-associated molecular patterns. He hypothesizes that serum amyloid A (SAA) links dental inflammations and systemic metabolic disorders bidirectionally. In addition, he assesses the importance of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) in control of inflammation. He recently established a novel mouse model exhibiting HIF-1-mediated spontaneous resolution of inflammation and periapical wound healing.
Dr. Sasaki is also positively working on that the science and health professionals and students deepen their understanding of dental inflammology through his research outcomes, publications, and presentations.