Speakers Day 1: International Oral Health Symposium 2022

On this page you find more information about the speakers and their abstracts.

Dr. Peres
Dr. Peres Photo: Medical Imaging Unit, NDCS. Copyrighted of NDCS

Dr. Karen Peres

Oral health over the life course: disseminating and implementing evidence through a Global Consortium of Birth Cohort Studies

Birth cohort studies are crucial to understand the natural history of oral conditions and expand knowledge of events such as socioeconomic inequalities and nutritional aspects that occur early in life and may influence later oral health outcomes. This presentation provides empirical examples of applying life course theories to core research areas, such as the role of socioeconomic position during the life course and oral health later, the relationship between oral and general health and predictive models of oral health outcomes, using data from birth cohort studies. Next, it describes the strategy to leverage existing longitudinal data and generate more impactful findings by building a long-lasting international collaborative research group of oral health-related birth cohort studies (OHRBCS). The launch of the OHRBCS Consortium – GLOBICS - is an outstanding opportunity to respond to the Lancet Commission's call for action. The GLOBICS initiative will be detailed, emphasising its objectives, goals, and current achievements.

About Dr. Karen Peres

Karen Peres is a paediatric dentist with a PhD in epidemiology from Brazil. In 2012, she was appointed as a researcher at the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health and the Dental Practice Education Research Unit Director at the University of Adelaide, Australia. In 2018, she took the position as Associate Professor of Dentistry at Griffith University, Australia. In 2020, she joined the National Dental Research Institute Singapore, National Dental Centre Singapore, as a Principal Investigator and Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. She is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of Child Oral Health and Oral Epidemiology. Her research areas of interest include child oral health epidemiology, inequalities in general and oral health, life course epidemiology, oral health surveillance, and the relationship between oral health and general health. Karen has been involved in international collaborative work on breastfeeding effects on several children's health outcomes. Their findings were worldwide spread and resulted in a special issue of The Lancet published in 2016. She has supervised more than 30 master's and PhD students and authored fourteen book chapters and 160 peer-reviewed papers. Her work has received more than 11000 citations, an H index of 65. She was included among the top 2% of scientists globally (Plos Biology Journal). She led the internationally known Pelotas, Brazil oral health birth cohort studies and is currently involved in cohort studies in Australia and Singapore. She coordinates the Global Consortium of Oral Health-Related Birth Cohort Studies project, sponsored by the Borrow Foundation, UK.

Prof. Björn Klinge
Prof. Björn Klinge Photo: N/A

Professor Björn Klinge

Oral health and systemic co-morbidities a global health concern

Oral diseases are the most prevalent Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) globally. Untreated caries in permanent teeth is ranked as #1 by WHO, and affects more than 2.4 billion people worldwide. Periodontal (gum) disease is ranked #6 and affects 743 million people. The distribution of the oral diseases is not necessarily equally distributed within the different countries, but affected by socio-economy, educational level, nutrition, availability of sweets, oral hygiene, dental care and other factors. It should however be noted that oral diseases to a large extent are preventable diseases, mostly by patient homecare. The evidence-base shows periodontitis, which is the severe form of gum disease, has associations with many other systemic NCD. Recognition of the mutual risk factors and knowledge sharing between dentistry and general health needs improvement. The aim of this presentation is to pay attention to oral health and the implications for the systemic health and quality of life of the global population.  

About Björn Klinge

Professor Björn Klinge received his DDS from Lund University, Sweden, in 1977 and earned his doctorate in Odontology in 1984, also from Lund University. In 1988 he became recognized specialist in Periodontology by the Swedish National board of health and welfare. In 1994 Björn Klinge was appointed Professor and Chair of Periodontology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm by the Swedish Government. Soon after his arrival he was appointed Dean. In 2012 he was recruited to Malmö University as the Dean for the Faculty of Odontology as well as Professor in Periodontology. He is currently Professor em in the Department of Dental Medicine, Division of Oral Disease at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden and Senior Professor of Periodontology, Faculty of Odontology, Malmö University, Sweden. Björn Klinge is a Special Guest Professor at Instituto Universitario, Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal. He is Scientific Advisor in Periodontology to the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden and Scientific Editor for the Journal of the Swedish Dental Association. Professor Klinge is Honorary Professor at Ji-Lin University in China and Honorary member of the Swedish Dental Association. He is a Board member and Past President of the Scandinavian Society of Periodontology, and former President of the European Association for Osseointegration (EAO). He is a past President and Honorary member of the Swedish Periodontal Association. He has lectured internationally in more than 40 countries. Recently his research interest and related publications mainly focus on the oral-systemic link, periimplantitis and periodontal tissue regeneration. 

bjorn.klinge@ki.se / bjorn.klinge@mau.se


Mr. Futoshi Fusejima, GC Corporation
Mr. Futoshi Fusejima Photo: N/A

Mr. Futoshi Fusejima

The Road to Great Success in Government-Industry-Academia Collaboration

Oral Health is one of the most important factors for QOL (Quality Of Life) especially in elderly people. This segment is increasing worldwide. To realize the healthy longevity, the importance of Oral Health needs to be understood. To promote Oral Health Care Activities, support from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan (Government) is essential. Japan Dental Association, Japanese Association for Dental Science and Japan Dental Trade Association compiled the “Dental medical device industry vision” and published in 2007. These three associations appeal to the importance of Oral Health Care and their Vision of improvement it to MHLW. As a results, “Vision for the Medical Device Industry” by MHLW in Japan was adopted with “Dental medical device industry vision”. Importance of Oral Health Care for an ageing population are recognized as activity of national health care and Oral Function Diagnostic Devices are included in Japan National Health Care Program.

Professor Alastair Sloan
Professor Alastair Sloan Photo: N/A

Professor Alastair Sloan

Tissue Engineering / Repair Strategies for the Dentine/Pulp Complex: Bioactive Matrices

Recurrent dental disease is a chronic problem associated with poor oral hygiene. Despite advances in preventive dentistry and oral hygiene practices, dental disease remains a significant problem for adults globally, and those in areas of social deprivation fare worst. Infection of dental pulp are significant causes of tooth loss. Retention of teeth is important for function and nutrition and recurrent dental decay (caries) around fillings is a common reason for adult tooth loss. Current data indicates over 50% of fillings fail within 10 years with caries around fillings leading to abscess formation and requirement for deeper restorations or root canal treatments at significant healthcare cost. The dentine-pulp complex has an innate capacity for repair and regeneration. Our mechanistic understanding of the biological processes underpinning key events during dental tissue regeneration can be translated into novel therapies to improve on the relatively inefficient traditional restorative approaches and may provide a translational solution to address the effects of dental disease and improve the longevity of restorations. This talk will discuss how harnessing the bioactive nature of dentine may influence dental pulp stem cell behaviour and lead to a tissue engineering approach to dental tissue repair for possible translation to clinical therapies.

About Professor Alastair Sloan

Alastair Sloan is Professor of Tissue Engineering and Dental Biology at the Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Australia where he has been Head of School since 2020. Prior to this, he was Head of School of thr School of Dentistry at Cardiff Unviersity in the UK and between 2015-2017, Director of the Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering & Repair (CITER). He obtained his BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Wales in 1993 and his PhD in Oral Biology and Pathology from The University of Birmingham in 1997. Following postdoctoral research, he was appointed to a Lectureship in Oral Biology at the School of Dentistry in 2000 and moved to Cardiff in 2005. His research is focussed on the repair and regeneration of mineralised tissues, bacterial attachment in mineralised tissue infections, the behaviour and therapeutic use of dental pulp stem cells and targeted drug delivery systems to combat mineralised tissue disease. Complimentary to this work, he is also interested in developing novel 3D organotypic culture systems to understand cell, bacterial and drug behaviour in 3D tissue environments. His research has a strong translational focus, and he has built numerous industry partnerships over the course of his career. He was the recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award, the Isaac Schour Memorial Award in 2021 and was awarded an Ad Eundem Fellowship of the Faculty of Dentistry, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland also in 2021. He currently sits on research funding panels in the EU and Australia.  

Chengfei ZHANG
Professor Chengfei Zhang Photo: N/A

Professor Chengfei Zhang

Pre-vascularization and Vascular Maturation in Dental Pulp Regeneration

Timely establishment of sufficient vascularization in implanted large tissue constructs is critical for the survival and function of cells in the central part of tissue engineerded constructs as the diffusion from the host capillaries is limited (200 µm). Similarly, the unique anatomy of root canal space with only one opening at the apex makes it impossible for timely vascularization of the entire root canal.  We recently studied strategies to pre-vascularize the engineered pulp tissue and enhance the maturation of the pre-formed vessels. We found the multi-step angiogenic cascade in DPSC-induced vessel formation and maturation. DPSCs initiate angiogenesis via proangiogenic factors, such as VEGF secretion, promoting EC proliferation, migration, and vessel formation. The interactions of ECs and DPSCs drive DPSC toward mural cell phenotypes via TGF-β secretion. The newly formed vessels are stabilized via EphrinB2-EphB4 and VEGF-Ang-Tie2 signaling. Manipulating the angiogenic cascade in DPSC-induced vessel formation and maturation is promising for enhancing pulp regeneration.

About Chengfei Zhang

Dr. Chengfei ZHANG is a Professor in Endodontics, and Associate Dean for research and innovation, in the Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). His research is mainly focused on three different areas: 1) Dental stem cell-based pulp regeneration; 2) Differentiation of dental stem cells into mural, endothelial, and neural cell lineages; 3) Clinical aspects of regenerative endodontics. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles on various aspects of these areas. His recently published work was focused on a novel approach that combines prevascularization and vascular maturation, which aims to address one of the major challenges in regenerative endodontics - enhancement of angiogenesis and anastomosis during pulp regeneration. This work was internationally recognized with several awards including IADR William J Gies award for Biomaterials and Bioengineering Research 2016 and Journal of Endodontics award for best paper in Basic Science: Biology 2016. As the principal investigator, he has been awarded numerous competitive research grants including GRF, NSFC and HMRF grants in Hong Kong and China. His work in dental pulp regeneration have been presented in Pulp Biology and Regeneration Symposia held in 2013, 2016, and 2019, and IADR/AADR meetings.

Dr. Venkata Suresh V
Dr. Venkata Suresh V Photo: N/A

Dr. Venkata Suresh V

Development of bone tissue engineering technology using  immature osteoblasts and three dimensional polymer scaffold

Regeneration of bone defects in medical and dental fields poses a significant challenge. To date, several clinical studies have shown promising results of bone regeneration utilizing mesenchymal stem cells combined with a variety of biocompatible scaffolds. However, these methods could not translate clinically as a standard procedure. To approach this problem in our study, we use mouse calvaria osteoblasts (MCOB) in combination with 3-dimensional polylactic acid (3DPL) scaffold. The MCOB-3DPL constructs have successfully regenerated the bone with similar micromechanical strength to the native bone in a large mouse jawbone defect. In addition, regenerated bone possesses osseointegration ability, wherein a direct structural connection is established with the titanium implant surface. Hence, a construct formed by a 3DPL scaffold and immature osteoblast-like cells such as MCOBs represents a novel bone tissue engineering approach that enables the formation of vertical bone with the micromechanical properties suitable for regeneration of large bone defects.

About Dr. Venkata Suresh V

My Name is Venkata Suresh V, and a recent PhD graduate from Tohoku University working on Tissue Engineering in Dentistry. In 2009, I graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (B.D.S.)  from K.G.F. College of Dental Sciences and a Master's in Dental surgery (M.D.S.) in 2014 from Vokkaligara Sangha Dental College and Hospital, India. Then worked as a Senior lecturer at the K.L.E. institute of dental sciences, India, focusing mainly on instructing and mentoring undergraduate students on operative dentistry and Endodontics. Presently, working as an assistant professor with a primary research focus on Bone tissue engineering. I aim to develop a tissue-engineered construct suitable for clinical applications. I am currently working to find out the best combination of cells and scaffolds with robust bone regeneration properties. In this regard, I am isolating osteogenic cells from bone biopsies and investigating their bone formation ability in in-vitro and in vivo studies. Our research findings show that these bone-derived cells possess a more remarkable osteogenic ability, enhancing bone regeneration. Currently, we utilize these osteogenic cells and combine them with various bio-scaffolds to identify the suitable cell-scaffold construct for further enhancing bone regeneration in small and large animal bone defect models. Apart from primary research, I am actively involved with co-researchers in their research work, which mainly focuses on molecular and cellular research activities related to endodontics, such as investigating target therapeutic molecules to treat apical periodontitis.

Professor Stuart Dashper
Professor Stuart Dashper Photo: Melbourne Dental School

Professor Stuart Dashper

Predicting Early Childhood Caries

The oral microbiome plays major roles in many oral diseases including early childhood caries (ECC), which afflicts up to 70% of children in some populations. Saliva is an easily obtained bodily fluid that contains oral bacteria indicative of the whole oral microbiome and may reflect the dysbiosis in oral bacterial communities associated with the clinical manifestations of ECC. Our studies demonstrate an ordered temporal development of the oral microbiome, describe a limited core oral microbiome and indicate that saliva testing of infants may help predict ECC risk. Caries risk assessment tools (CRATs) for individuals are currently being used in clinical dental practice, although the evidence for their efficacy is often limited, especially in children. The incorporation of microbiomic, or metabolomic, data into CRATs is likely to increase their sensitivity and specificity and enable them to become useful tools for the prediction of ECC prior to irreversible tissue damage.

About Professor Stuart Dashper

Stuart Dashper is the Professor of Oral Microbiology and Director of Research at the Melbourne Dental School where he heads the Oral Microbiology and Microbiomics Group. Most of his research fits under the umbrella of determining the causes of microbiome-mediated oral diseases, particularly dental caries and periodontitis. This has expanded recently to include the determination of the role of oral bacteria and vesicles in systemic diseases and conditions, including cancers and Alzheimer's disease. This research has involved the development of systems biology approaches to investigate chronic human disease. In particular the development of novel methodologies for the culture of polymicrobial biofilms and the determination the molecular interactions that underpin the symbiotic relationships and synergistic virulence of oral pathobionts. Stuart has applied microbiomic approaches to determine predictive biomarkers of disease in children in birth cohort studies. The long-term aim of his research is the development of novel strategies for the prediction, prevention and treatment of oral diseases. He is an author on over 110 research publications and a named inventor on eight patents. His research is funded by the NHMRC (AUS) and he has been awarded NIH (USA) research grants in addition to the International Association for Dental Research (IADR)-GSK Innovation in Oral Care Award. He was a Project Leader in the Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre (2003-2018) where he was involved in the translation of basic research into commercial products.

Jumpei Washio
Dr. Jumpei Washio Photo: N/A

Dr. Jumpei Washio

Oral microbiome metabolites: key factors involved in both oral and systemic health

Jumpei Washio1, Kazuko Ezoe1, Satoko Sato1, Yuki Abiko1, Ryo Tagaino1,2, Dimas Prasetianto Wicaksono1,3, Gen Mayanagi4 and Nobuhiro Takahashi(1. Division of Oral Ecology and Biochemistry, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Sendai, Japan 2. Division of Advanced Prosthetic Dentistry, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Sendai, Japan 3. Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia 4. Liaison Center for Innovative Dentistry, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Sendai, Japan)

The oral microbiome produces a variety of metabolites from metabolic substrates available in the oral cavity. It is well known that organic acids from carbohydrates and short-chain fatty acids and sulfides from amino acids are responsible for oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontitis. Furthermore, we found that oral microbiome can produce acetaldehyde and nitrite from ethanol and nitrate, respectively. Ethanol is derived from alcohol beverages, while nitrate is derived from vegetables and is continuously supplied through the enterosalivary pathway. Acetaldehyde is known as a potent carcinogen, and nitrite has antimicrobial and vasodilatory properties. These metabolic activities are dependent on bacterial species in the oral microbiome and largely regulated by oral environmental conditions such as pH, oxygen concentrations, and lactate. These findings suggest that metabolites of oral microbiome are involved in both oral and systemic health and may contribute to precision medicine based on the oral microbiome.

About Dr. Jumpei Washio

Jumpei Washio is currently a lecturer, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Japan. He got D.D.S in 2001 and Ph.D. (dentistry) in 2005. at Tohoku University. He has been involved in various studies on oral biochemistry, microbiology, and preventive dentistry.

In recent years, one of his main research focuses is Oral Microbiome, especially its “metabolisms”. Until now, He has investigated the metabolism of sugars, amino acids, ethanol, nitrate and nitrite by oral bacteria, and clarified the effects by various environmental factors, food components and drugs on the metabolisms. Furthermore, he was involved in launching a metabolomic technology of oral microbiome and performed the world's first metabolomic analysis of the oral microbiome.  Another main research topics is the metabolism of Host cells (Normal cells / Cancer cells). Based on the experience of metabolism research of oral microbiome, He was also conducting research on host cell metabolism. In particular, it is known that cancer cells have a special metabolic system and the characters are different depending on the host tissue. Therefore, he has been conducting various studies to determine whether the effects of environmental factors and the drugs on host cell metabolism are different for each cell and environmental condition. Now, his research group is also trying to clarify the interaction between oral bacteria and host cells from metabolic perspectives. He  hopes that his research may contribute to build the new strategies to maintain our oral and systemic health.

Dr. Catherine Butler
Dr. Catherine Butler Photo: N/A

Dr. Catherine Butler

Microbiome profiles of non-responding and responding paired periodontitis sites following non-surgical treatment

Periodontitis is a site-specific, chronic disease treated by non-surgical debridement of subgingival plaque. We determined the microbiome of sites that did not respond to this treatment (NR) compared with paired good responding (GR) sites before and after treatment. In a longitudinal cohort study, clinical parameters of disease and subgingival plaque samples were taken prior to and 3 months after treatment. Twelve NR sites from six participants were paired with GR sites within the same participant, and plaque samples subjected to bacterial community analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. In NR sites three months after treatment there was no significant change in bacterial composition whilst there was a collapse in the abundance of pathobionts in GR sites. NR sites were not identifiable prior to treatment by clinical or microbiological parameters. Treatment failed to disrupt pathogenic bacterial community in NR sites, suggesting that targeted suppression of particular species could aid disease resolution.

About Dr. Catherine Butler

Dr Catherine Butler is a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Oral Health Research, Melbourne Dental School, The University of Melbourne. With a background in microbiology and molecular biology, she has used molecular biology to interrogate the pathogenicity of Porphyromonas gingivalis, an aetiological agent of periodontitis, and how it responds to environmental cues in the host. She is also interested in all aspects of the oral microbiome in health and disease which has led to a broad portfolio of basic and clinical research examining the roles of the bacterial and fungal components of the oral microbiome. It is becoming increasingly known that the oral microbiome plays a role beyond oral disease; that pathobionts of the oral microbiome spread from the oral cavity and play a role in many other diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, various cancers, and affect mental health. Her most recent publications and grant awards reflect these research interests, with funding from the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation to investigate a polymicrobial aetiology for Alzheimer’s disease and publications detailing the temporal development of the infant oral microbiome and the microbiome profiles of non-responding and responding paired periodontitis sites. Catherine is a committee member of the Australasian Human Microbiome Research Network, @microbiome_net.

Professor Kamal Mustafa
Professor Kamal Mustafa Photo: N/A

Professor Kamal Mustafa

From bench to chairside: Stem cells in bone augmentation

The potential and value of stem cell-based therapies were explored in the early 1990s when therapeutically relevant tissue-supportive cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were applied for the regeneration of skeletal tissues. This new approach using cell therapy for bone regeneration is promising and could be used as an alternative for the classic gold standard treatment with bone grafts. A standardized protocol to culture and expand bone marrow MSC has been validated and reported. The promising data from a clinical trial in 11 patients in Bergen, Norway as part of the EU REBORNE project has demonstrated the clinical safety of this regenerative strategy and paved the way for improved, well-designed trials utilising stem cells for mandible augmentation and alveolar reconstruction. In another ongoing EU project (MAXIBONE), a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of 150 patients is comparing the safety and efficacy of autologous cultured stem cells and calcium phosphate biomaterials with autologous bone grafting in alveolar bone augmentation prior to dental implants. The data demonstrated that bone marrow MSC combined with synthetic bone substitute biomaterial to augment mandibular bone, induce significant new bone formation. The regenerated bone volume is adequate for dental implant installation. Healing is uneventful and the patients are satisfied with the aesthetic and functional outcomes.

About Professor Kamal Mustafa

Prof. Kamal Mustafa received his PhD from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden in 2001. He had his postdoctoral trainings at Karolinska Institute, the University of Oslo and the University of Bergen. In recognition of his research, he held positions as a visiting scientist at the Scandinavian Institute of Dental Materials, Norway, Malmö University, Sweden, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA and University of Science and Technology, Sudan. He is currently the leader of Center of Translational Oral Research (TOR) and Tissue Engineering Group at Institute of Clinical Dentistry (IKO), University of Bergen. The group, led by Prof. Mustafa, aims to address the shortage of tissues available for repair and regeneration. It includes a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians and bioengineers working in close collaboration with national and international partners. Currently, the group is developing functional engineered bone-tissue constructs, with combinations of cells, growth factors and the appropriate biomaterial scaffolds. The scope of the work includes aspects of pre-clinical and clinical biomedical research. He is a frequently invited speaker at international events and has published more than 200 scientific reports and received several awards. Prof. Mustafa’s main research activities have been incorporated in the large collaborative EU projects financed by the FP7 and H2020 and several projects financed by national funding agencies. He is currently leading and sponsoring a European multicenter clinical trial to reconstruct alveolar bone using stem cells and biomaterials, which is among few trials in Europe using advanced cell therapy (MAXIBONE H2020 project).

Dr. Shigeki Suzuki
Dr. Shigeki Suzuki Photo: N/A

Dr. Shigeki Suzuki

Epigenetic reprogramming of odontoblasts for regenerative medicine: loss of IκBζ drives dentin formation via altered H3K4me3 status

Forced enrichment of local chromatin accessibility marked by trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) is able to reprogram or revitalize terminally differentiated cells. Here, we investigated whether dentin formation was modulated by the expression of NF-kB inhibitor ζ (IκBζ), a new epigenetic modulator, in odontoblasts. We found that IκBζ null mice exhibit a thicker dentin width and narrower pulp chamber. Mechanistically, based on whole-genome identification of H3K4me3 enrichment by bioinformatics analysis, extracellular matrix (ECM) and ECM organization-related gene loci were selectively activated by the knockdown of IκBζ, which consistently resulted in the up-regulation of these genes. Collectively, this study suggested that IκBζ is the key negative regulator of dentin formation in odontoblasts by inhibiting dentin ECM- and ECM organization-related gene expression through an altered local chromatin status marked by H3K4me3. Therefore, IκBζ is a potential target for epigenetically improving the clinical outcomes of dentin tissue engineering and regeneration therapy.

About Shigeki Suzuki

Shigeki Suzuki is an Associate professor/Lecturer of Department of Periodontology and Endodontology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry. He received his DDS/PhD degree at Osaka University. In 2006, he started research in relation to dentin formation and dentin/pulp regeneration at Functional Genomics Section, Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, USA. In 2009, he came back Japan and then he has been focusing on whether and how the epigenetic status of dental pulp and periodontal tissues influences the responsiveness of dentin/pulp and periodontal tissue regeneration therapies. Since my research interest is mainly epigenetics and epigenome, it may be slightly far away from main stream of tissue engineering. However, I assume that assessment and modulation of the epigenetic status of the host tissues/cells make it possible to evaluate and accelerate their regenerative-tropism to predict better prognosis of tissue engineering and regeneration therapies and to develop precision-medicine in dentin/pulp and periodontal regeneration therapies. 

Dr. Jaya Seneviratne
Dr. Jaya Seneviratne Photo: N/A

Dr. Jaya Seneviratne

Oral Microbiome-systemic Link: Current Limitations and Future Artificial Intelligence-based Approaches

In the past decade, there has been a tremendous increase in studies on the link between oral microbiome and systemic diseases. We analysed past high throughput sequencing based studies that examined the oral microbiome-systemic link and found inconsistent evidence across studies due to differences in the i) study design ii) data analysis iii) interpretations. Hence, it is important to understand the limitations of past studies, so that future studies will have a robust framework. This presentation will outline the possible improvements in the study design, host meta data, analytical tools and propose an artificial intelligence (AI)-based approach for future oral microbiome studies. A brief description of how artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning approaches have been employed for microbiome studies will also be provided.

About Dr. Jaya Seneviratne

Dr. Jaya Seneviratne is the founding leader of Singapore Oral Microbiomics Initiative (SOMI), National Dental Research Institute Singapore (NDRIS), Singapore. He obtained his PhD in Oral Microbiology at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) with the Outstanding Research Postgraduate Award. He completed a Diploma in Immunology from Pasteur Institute, HKU and an advanced course in Proteomics Bioinformatics from the European Bioinformatics Institute, UK. Dr. Seneviratne has published over 90 journal articles, and his research team has received over 20 prestigious awards from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). His research projects have been supported by local and international funding agencies including Singapore National Medical Research Council (NMRC). SOMI conducts studies on oral microbiome-systemic link with SingHealth partner institutions.


Margaret Sällberg Chen in the lab.
Margaret Sällberg Chen, Professor of Clinical Oral Immunology. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman.

Professor Margaret Sällberg Chen

Immune sensing of oral microbiota: implications in health and disease

The immune system defends us against potentially harmful external agents and endogenous perturbations of homeostasis. It is believed that humans and their commensal microorganisms co-evolved toward mutualism and hemostasis. Such intimate relationship is supported by proper functioning of host immunity to prevent commensals from overutilization of host resources whiles maintaining tolerance to harmless stimuli. Agitation of microbiome, or impairment of mucosal or immune system may support the systemic dissemination of oral commensals. In this lecture, we will discuss why oral microbes are frequently linked with certain cancer types with focus on pancreas cancer; how salivary profiling may support classification of cancer risk groups (Gaiser RA. Gut 2019, Alkharaan H. Front Immunol 2019); and reveal the efficacy of new Covid-19 vaccination (Alkharaan H. J Inf Dis 2021, Healy K. Med 2022). We will look in our new spheroid models what cancer-bacteria do to healthy human cells (Halimi A. Gut Microbes, 2021).

About Professor Margaret Sällberg Chen

Margaret Sällberg Chen is Professor of Clinical Oral Immunology, Director of Doctoral Education, Head of International Affairs at Dept of Dental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet. Margaret received her DDS and PhD degrees at Karolinska Institutet. She did clinical services at The Swedish Public Dental Service, and postdoctoral trainings at The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, USA. She has led government funded research projects at the Public Health Agency of Sweden. Her current research is about understanding the protective immunity against cancer and cancer-associated microbes, lately she is also involved in Covid-19 studies in cancer patients. Her group is interested in oral and gut microbiota, their interactions with their host immune system, and the potential consequences in vulnerable groups. Her work is published in over 75 articles, among which in Nature, Gastroenterology, GUT, Gut Microbes, and have received more than 3300 citations. Margaret is course director and teaches dental and medical students. She is PhD and postdoc supervisor to a group of 10 clinical and basic scientists (medical doctors, dentists, biomedicine). She serves in grant review processes, editorial board, member in IADR, EASL, AASLD, and member in the organisation committee for KI-Singapore Oral Health Research Symposium since 2017. Her research is supported by the Swedish Research Foundation, Swedish Cancer Association, SOF/Region Stockholm, Center for Innovative Medicine, Knut Alice Wallenberg Foundation. She is awarded visiting scientist grants to UK, US and Singapore for trainings at the Cancer Research UK, National Cancer Institute of NIH USA, and LKC Medical School Singapore.

Professor Chun-Hung Chu
Professor Chun Hung Chu Photo: N/A

Professor Chun Hung Chu

Silver diamine fluoride: an WHO essential medicine

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is used to control early childhood caries, arrest root caries of older adults, prevent secondary caries, desensitise hypersensitive teeth, remineralise hypomineralised teeth, prevent dental erosion, detect carious tissue during excavation and manage infected root canals. Current evidence showed proper use of SDF does not cause dental fluorosis. SDF arrests deep caries without eliciting additional harm to the pulp. Indirect pulp capping with SDF causes none or mild inflammatory pulpal response. However, SDF stains carious lesions black. SDF therapy is simple, painless, non-invasive and inexpensive. Both clinicians and patients accept it generally well. SDF therapy requires simple armamentarium and minimal support. Hence, it can be used for people currently unable to tolerate more involved dental treatment. In 2021, The World Health Organization included SDF as an essential medicine that is effective and safe to meet the most important needs in a health system for adults and children.

About Professor Chun Hung Chu

Dr Chu is a Professor and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong (HKU) with a demonstrated history of working in the clinical dentistry, administration and leadership, clinical and basic research, and higher education. He is the President, the Society of Preventive Dentistry of Hong Kong (2021-2023), the President, the Asia Academy of Preventive Dentistry (2021-2023), a Member, the FDI Public Health Committee (2021-2024), the Vice President, the Asian and Oceanian Federation of Conservative Dentistry (2020-2023) and the Immediate Past President, the South East Asians Association for Dental Education (2020-2022). Dr Chu was conferred BDS, MDS and PhD from HKU. Dr Chu is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and received the prestigious lifelong learning and service recognition award from AGD. Through overseas examinations, Dr Chu became a fellow of the Royal Australasians College of Dental Surgeons, a dental fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) in UK, and a diplomate of the American Board of General Dentistry. Dr Chu was elected as a fellow of the International College of Dentists, a fellow of the Faculty of Dental Trainers RCSEd and a fellow of the Academy of Dental Materials. He published extensively with a Scopus h index of 40. He is an editor of several reputable international journals. As the principal investigator, Dr Chu received US$ 9M from external grants in Hong Kong. He teaches restorative dentistry for dental students and supervise research for PhD students and post-doctoral fellows.