School of Dentistry

Research and Research Training

SOD Stock Banner Research Day 2016

The OHSU School of Dentistry encourages and supports research concerning dental disease, clinical techniques, oral biology, and basic biomedical research. The basic science and clinical research faculty have their primary appointments, teaching commitments and laboratories at the school of Dentistry.

Research projects are funded by Federal grants (NIH, NSF, NASA) as well as a variety of corporate sponsors. More than twenty principal investigators and numerous technical staff pursue a wide variety of project listed below, ranging in scope from the basic mechanisms of diseases to evidenced-based dental treatment. For further information and opportunities for research contact the principal investigators or the Office of Research Affairs at the School of Dentistry.

OHSU School of Dentistry offers monthly lectures to share new and ongoing research with students, faculty, staff, and the greater community. The Dean's Research Seminars provide an opportunity to learn from and connect with distinguished speakers in the area of oral health research from respected institutions worldwide. Speakers are hosted by OHSU School of Dentistry faculty, and regularly offer Continuing Education (CE) credits for alumni and the greater dental community. On a quarterly basis, the School of Dentistry offers Faculty Research Seminars, wherein current OHSU SoD faculty share information and current research from their labs and specific areas of expertise. At the beginning of each school year, OHSU SoD research faculty also present a Meet the Mentor seminar, introducing students to research activities and opportunities throughout the school.

Dean's and Faculty's Seminars will be hosted virtually until further notice, and are streamed and recorded for viewing on the SoD Research Echo360 page:

Monday, June 1, 2020

Dean's Seminar Series: "Antiphospholipids: A Link Between Periodontitis and Systemic Disease?"

Dr. Harvey A. Schenkein, D.D.S., Ph.D., is the Paul Tucker Goad Professor of Periodontics at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Dentistry. He will present his research discussing his lab's finding that about 15-20% of periodontitis patients have serum levels of anticariolipin (aCL) that exceed levels seen in 95% of the general, healthy population, and that these antibodies have biological activities that could impact systemic health. This presentation will focus on describing the way aCL antibodies function in promoting obstetrical complications and vascular inflammation, explaining why patients with periodontitis develop aCL, and demonstrating biological effects of these antibodies that could contribute to development of several of the systemic conditions that are associated with periodontitis.

Completed Seminars: 2019-2020

OHSU SoD Research Faculty presents: Meet the Mentor

OHSU School of Dentistry faculty and students from our various research domains present ongoing research and opportunities for students to get involved in the field.

Dean's Seminar Series: "FATE: A Novel Exosome Mediated Approach for Tissue Engineering"

Praveen Gajendrareddy, B.D.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago.

The success of regenerative strategies is influenced by safe and reliable host stem cell differentiation. Current strategies for tissue regeneration have limitations and adverse effects. Dr. Gajendrareddy will discuss the therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) derived exosomes in hard tissue regeneration. Additional biomimetic approaches for tissue engineering and bone regeneration using extracellular matrices (ECM) will also be discussed.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Dean's Seminar Series, Toni Eigner-Barry Lecture: "Addressing Oral Health Inequalities in Alaska Native Children"

Donald L. Chi, D.D.S., Ph.D., Professor and Lloyd and Kay Chapman Chair for Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington

Alaska Native communities have high levels of dental diseases, but interventions to date have overlooked dietary risk factors. Dr. Chi will describe a new NIH-funded community-based sociobehavioral intervention aimed at helping Alaska Native families and children reduce added sugar intake. Dr. Chi will share clinical experiences that helped to form the basis for the proposed public health intervention, the processes and challenges involved in assembling interdisciplinary research teams, progress to date, and next steps.

Monday, February 24, 2020

OHSU Faculty Research Seminar: Restorative Dentistry - Biomaterials

OHSU School of Dentistry is internationally recognized for research in the field of Biomaterials and Biomechanics. This department covers many areas of biomedical engineering, including mechanics of polymers and polymer matrix composites, structure/property relationships in biomaterials, biomedical optics, finite element analysis, micromechanics, tribology, biomechanics of engineered tissues, electron microscopy, fracture mechanics, cardiovascular biomechanics, and image processing. Faculty presenting research at this seminar include:

Jack Ferracane, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Restorative Dentistry

Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry

Drs. Ferracane and Pfeifer have both recently received prestigious awards for their contributions to research in this field. Dr. Ferracane received the OHSU Business Partnership Award in 2019 for his five industry-funded research and development partnerships, more than any other independent investigator at OHSU. Dr. Pfeifer is one of two OHSU School of Dentistry faculty to have recently been awarded the NIH/NIDCR Sustaining Outstanding Achievement in Research (SOAR) Award, which will provide ongoing support for her project, "Novel polymeric materials with improved durability in the oral environment: tailoring responses to host and bacterial enzymes with anti-proteolytic and ecology-based antimicrobial approaches." 

Monday, November 25, 2019

OHSU Faculty Research Seminar: Community Dentistry

OHSU Community Dentistry researchers work with providers and patients throughout the state, studying ongoing issues in the field, including: teledentistry; nutrition; and opioid prescribing behaviors. Their work helps lead to increased access to dental care and improved oral health for underserved populations.

Faculty presenting research at this seminar include:

Mark Engelstad, D.D.S., M.D., M.H.I., Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Tobie Jones, D.M.D., Assistant Professor, OHSU Department of Restorative Dentistry

Eli Schwarz, K.O.D., D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, OHSU Department of Community Dentistry

Monday, January 13, 2020

Dean's Seminar Series: Advances in Studying the Human Microbiome and Applications in Dental Research

Jeffrey S. McLean, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Dentistry; Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology; University of Washington.

In order to ultimately understand the community metabolism of the oral microbiome and its relation to many human polymicrobial diseases, Dr. McLean's lab has applied deep sequencing of mRNA (Metatranscriptomics) in a model oral biofilm system. He will present the gene-level insights that were enabled using this unique in vitro biofilm model system, maintaining hundreds of bacterial species and an overall metabolic capacity approaching that of the human oral microbiome.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Dean's Seminar Series: Jeffrey W. Stansbury, Ph.D., Professor, University of Colorado

Dr. Stansbury is Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Professor of Restorative Dentistry, and Director of the Biomaterials Research Center at the University of Colorado.

He will present on his research focus and activities involving designing, synthesizing, characterizing, and evaluating novel polymeric materials for a wide array of dental and biomedical applications.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Dean's Seminar Series: "The Human Oral Microbiome"

Ann L. Griffen, D.D.S., M.S., Professor, Pediatric Dentistry, The Ohio State University

Dr. Griffen will present her research in the field of the human microbiome and microbial ecology of oral diseases, including periodontitis and dental caries.

Bacteriology Research Group

Starting May 22, 2020, SoD is hosting a monthly Bacteriology Research Group, featuring discussion and presentations by faculty and staff in this field across the OHSU campus and beyond. Please contact Stephanie Momeni , Postdoctoral Scholar in Dr. Hui Wu's lab, for more information.

Office of Research

Hui Wu, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research

Research Administration

Stefani Sheldon, M.P.H.
Research and Finance Administrator
503 494-8774

Tarn Allen
Grants and Contracts Coordinator
503 494-0546

Hui Wu, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean of Research, OHSU School of Dentistry

OHSU School of Dentistry is proud to welcome our new Associate Dean of Research, Hui Wu, Ph.D. Dr. Wu joins us from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He now heads the School's Office of Research, which encompasses its outstanding research team and programs. Dr. Wu holds the OHSU Foundation Endowed Professorship in Research. In June 2004, Dr. Wu joined the faculty of the UAB School of Dentistry and was promoted to Professor of Microbiology and Dentistry in 2012 in the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine. Dr. Wu received his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Vermont. His research interests lie in the study of bacterial biofilms in health and disease, and small molecule inhibitors of bacterial biofilms.

Having officially started in his new role at OHSU on March 1, 2020, Dr. Wu has already hit the ground running during this unprecedented time for the university, collaborating closely with OHSU School of Dentistry's researchers, particularly research faculty within the Department of Restorative Dentistry, focusing on microbiology and biomaterials. Dr. Wu is already well-funded, transferring in several NIH grants and ongoing collaborations with institutions including UAB, as well as Louisiana State University and University of Notre Dame. Dr. Wu's lab is located in OHSU's Medical Research Building (MRB), where he will be able to work closely with fellow microbiology researchers. He has provided leadership and support during this challenging time of limited lab access for researchers due to COVID-19, encouraging SoD faculty to focus on grants and publications, maintaining high standards and productivity as much as possible within current public health and safety parameters. 

OHSU also welcomes members of Dr. Wu's research team, who have transferred with him from UAB. Drs. XiXi Cao and Stephanie Momeni, both PostDoctoral Scholars working in Dr. Wu's lab, transferred to OHSU in March, and more lab members will be joining us in the coming months.