WRITER: KATHLEEN SNODGRASS
CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: April 18, 2002
UI College of Dentistry
researchers receive grants
Two researchers in the University of Iowa College of Dentistry recently received
grants for research projects.
Levy, D.D.S., M.P.H., professor of preventive and community dentistry in the
UI College of Dentistry and professor of epidemiology in the UI College of
Public Health, and colleagues have received $521,612 from the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services for an ongoing study of fluoride use among children.
The Iowa Fluoride Study, which first began
in 1991, has tracked a group of 700 babies, now ages 7 to 10, in order to
examine how fluoride exposure and ingestion beginning at birth relate to the
occurrence of dental fluorosis (cosmetic changes in the teeth) and cavities.
The study is also looking at the relationships between children's sucking
on pacifiers and fingers and the need for orthodontic treatment.
for the dental emphasis of the Iowa Fluoride Study include Jim Wefel, Ph.D.,
John Warren, D.D.S., Rebecca Slayton, D.D.S., Ph.D., Mike Kanellis, D.D.S.,
and Teresa Marshall, Ph.D., all professors in the UI College of Dentistry;
and Steve Hillis, Ph.D., UI assistant research scientist in statistics and
Schneider, D.D.S., Ph.D., UI assistant professor of prosthodontics and a researcher
in the College of Dentistry's Dows Institute for Dental Research, has received
a $147,00 grant from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research.
His research involves identifying how a specific
protein, FAK, causes a cell to become an osteoblast (a bone forming cell)
and secrete bone. By knowing what surfaces and proteins cause FAK to be activated,
Schneider can target them to grow bone tissue, a process known as tissue engineering.
This knowledge could also be used to target specific genes that cause bone
growth to help with treatments for osseous (bone) disease and craniofacial
defects. In addition, by learning which proteins activate FAK, researchers
may be able to develop dental implant surfaces that activate similar proteins
and pathways to aid in a process known as osseointegration.
Stanford, D.D.S., Ph.D., UI professor of prosthodontics, is co-investigator
of this grant. John Keller, Ph.D., UI professor of oral and maxillofacial
surgery, and dean of the UI Graduate College; Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D., the
Kate Daum Research Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the UI and head
of the department; and Mike Schaller, Ph.D., professor of cell biology at
the University of North Carolina, are consultants on the research study. Stanford
and Keller are also researchers at the College of Dentistry's Dows Institute
for Dental Research.