Public Health and Health Services

Photo of a woman with a bamboo toothbrush

Dentistry Aims to Go Green

December 11, 2019

During Harvard’s recent Worldwide Week, Donna Hackley, DMD, MA, an instructor in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at HSDM, was featured on a panel of global and community health experts titled, “Climate Change, the Environment, and Oral Health.” Hackley spoke candidly about the bi-directional relationship between environmental health and oral health through the lens of health equity. Dentistry, as an industry, impacts our planet’s environmental health, which affects oral...

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Oral Cancer Detection Methods in a Community Setting

Investigators: Sook-Bin Woo, DMD, MMSc; Kathy Myers, RDH, MBA, project manager
Funder(s): National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the efficiency of a risk-assessment algorithm in identifying subjects with suspicious precancerous or cancerous lesions in a high-risk population, as compared to broad screening in the general population.

Background

The Preventive Services Task Force of the United States does not recommend broad population screening of asymptomatic adults for oral cancer based on lack of...

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Duration of Behavioral Counseling Treatment Needed to Optimize Smoking Abstinence

Investigators: Christine Armour, Research Assistant; Sarah Kupper, Research Assistant
Funder(s): NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse

Nicotine dependence is increasingly recognized as a complex and chronic condition. Only 10% to 20% of smokers receiving smoking-cessation interventions are able to maintain abstinence for one year. Poor outcomes from smoking-cessation programs may be due to the brevity and limited intensity of most existing behavioral treatments that supplement pharmacologic treatment. In our laboratory we have found very low quit rates (14%) for smokers...

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Molecular Mechanisms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders by Use of Genetic and Nongenetic Mouse Models

Funder(s): The Eleanor and Miles Shore 50th Anniversary Fellowship Program for Scholars in Medicine

The objective of this research study focuses on the pathogenesis of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD) that affect millions of people around the world. Dr. Xu has identified two mutant mouse models for TMJD and established a surgically induced mouse TMJD model by partial discectomy. Dr. Xu has been investigating risk factors that are responsible for trauma-induced TMJD by use of these mouse models. Results from these studies will provide information for...

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Regulation of Xenopus Embryonic Development by TGFbeta

Investigators: Maja Edenius, PhD, research fellow; Chang-Yeol Yeo, PhD, research fellow
Funder(s): NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Our long-term goal is to understand how members of the TGFa superfamily act to exert a wide range of cell-type specific actions during development. Our current focus is on the role of TGFa ligands and their primary signal transducers, the Smads, in two sets of developmental events: 1) the regulation of migration of cell populations that establish the craniofacial skeleton and the...

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Multigenic Dissection of Nonsyndromic Oral Clefts

Funder(s): NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Cleft lip and/or cleft palate are among the most common birth defects and have serious physical, psychological, and financial consequences for those affected. Nevertheless, little is known about the causes of these anomalies because clefts are the result of genetic and environmental risk factors, rather than a single factor. This research has the potential to make a unique contribution to our understanding of clefts, as it employs novel analytical approaches that allow the simultaneous...

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