Craniofacial Pathobiology

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Leading interdisciplinary investigations in the development and function of the craniofacial complex

Investigations of processes that occur within cells and tissues to maintain health and control growth and development; understanding how alterations (genetic/environmental) result in disease (cancer). Study of microbiome/host interactions.

  • 48K Over 48 thousand people in the U.S are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, causing over 9,575 deaths, or roughly 1 person every hour. (Oral Cancer Foundation, 2016)

  • 50% 50% of children in America still suffer from caries (tooth decay), although largely preventable; the rate is even higher in under-served populations. Worldwide, 60–90% of children and nearly 100% of adults have tooth decay. (NIDCR, WHO, 2012)

  • 40+ researchers are working at UIC to improve treatment of oral cancer, caries, peridontal and other oral diseases. They are also working on new biomaterials and methods to regenerate dentin and enamel, moving science one step closer to regenerating an entire human tooth.

Research Areas

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BIOINFORMATICS

Researchers at UIC College of Dentistry are using molecular genetic techniques to answer questions about ancient human health and disease, human burial practices, primate evolution and primate skeletal biology, and even applying these learnings to advances in modern educational methods and multimedia instruction.

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CANCER BIOLOGY

Understanding how viruses cause oral cancer and how our bodies interact with these viruses is very important to preventing infection throughout the body, not just in the mouth. Research performed at the UIC College of Dentistry Center for Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases, are focused on development of new treatments for head and neck cancer patients, and of new molecular diagnostic tools to better assess clinical outcomes in patients at risk for oral cancer.

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CARIES RESEARCH

UIC College of Dentistry is a leader in conducting and collaborating in studies that promote research in dental caries.

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DEVELOPMENTAL/CRANIOFACIAL BIOLOGY

Research in the Department of Oral Biology encompasses all aspects of oral biology: cell and molecular biology of tissues of the oral cavity, signal transduction, biomineralization, genomics, tissue engineering of oral structures, applied clinical research, AIDS research, oral microbiology and cariology, functional anatomy, and evolutionary biology.

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PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that nearly 645 million American adults. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, and even cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Research teams at UIC College of Dentistry are advancing the understanding of the connections between periodontal disease and its risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, and cancer.

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VIROLOGY

UIC College of Dentistry researchers conduct basic research in the areas of virology, as part of studies in molecular biology, cancer and immunology.

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ANTHROPOLOGY & EVOLUTION

Researchers at UIC College of Dentistry are using molecular genetic techniques to answer questions about ancient human health and disease, human burial practices, primate evolution and primate skeletal biology, and even applying these learnings to advances in modern educational methods and multimedia instruction.

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DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE

Dental sleep medicine focuses on the use of oral appliance therapy to treat sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). UIC College of Dentistry clinicians and researchers can advance the science of sleep medicine through collaboration with sleep physicians to identify the best treatment for each patient.