Research projects are focused on examining the regenerative capacity of soft connective tissues within the oral cavity during health and disease. We are particularly concerned with the complications that result following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the form of Graft versus Host Disease. Oral manifestations are one of the most common and debilitating complications, and the histopathology poorly understood. Studies are ongoing to define the histopathological features of chronic graft versus host disease with the aim to couple clinical presentation to provide improved pathological diagnostics. The oral cavity has a huge potential to heal without scaring and many sources of cells have been identified in the soft tissues, including, gingiva, labial and buccal mucosal. A key to harnessing the cells potential and facilitating novel treatment strategies for cGVHD is to understand the stem cell niche and the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in maintaining this niche supporting the reparative process. Thus, research is also focusing on the role of the ECM in supporting the resident cell niche during wound healing and tissue repair, and regeneration of these tissues.
Victor Tollemar Wilmenius (Doctoral Student)