Resident Research Award Recipients

August 2016

Seth Brooks, DDS

Seth Brooks, DDS - University of Tennessee Health

grantees brooksCD90+ adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells in an alveolar extraction socket model


Seth R. Brooks obtained his DDS from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 2014.  Following graduation he completed a 1 year fellowship in Dental Anesthesia at the Indiana University School of Medicine prior to starting his residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

The proposed study aims to evaluate the use of adult adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells in bony tissue regeneration of extraction sockets in rats.  Due to time, economical and restorative concerns associated with implant placement after dental extractions, bone regenerative therapies have garnered much attention in recent years.  Current treatments, based on autologous and allogenic bone grafts, suffer from inherent challenges and hence, the ideal bone replacement therapy is yet to be found.  In this proposal, a team of clinicians and researchers at UTMCK along with colleagues at UTCVM will test,  in vitro, three scaffolds and determine which is the most biocompatible with adult mesenchymal stem cells.  Subsequently we will test the in vivo efficiency of these scaffolds seeded with adult mesenchymal stem cells in a rat model of extraction socket defect.  The long term goal is to translate this rat model to a large animal and ultimately make this strategy available to human medicine.


Meagan Miller, DDS

Meagan Miller, DDS - Loma Linda University

grantees millerThe Effect of Calcium Binding Protein on Bone Regeneration in a Leporine Model


Dr. Meagan Miller is a research fellow at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Miller has been involved in several scientific papers and preclinical studies in the field of hard and soft tissue regeneration. Dr. Miller is also co-authored two book chapters in review concerned with growth factors and bone healing.

The treatment of the bone defects in the maxillofacial area still represents a challenge for the surgeon. The functional rehabilitation is also complicated by the high aesthetic expectation of the patients. Several techiniques show different rates of success, but each of them presents still limits and complications. The use of alloplastic materials with growth factors could be a solution to many of the limits described in the other techniques. The absence of a second surgical site and the potentially unlimited amount of material offer an alternative surgical option for bone healing, which can be shorten and improved thanks to the association with one or more growth factors and the use of Insuline-like growht factor binding protein-5 (IGFBP-5). This calcium binding protein has already showed promising charateristics and it has been related to bone denisty and time control. The aim of this study is to compare different growth factors, (BMP-2, VEGF, PDGF used alone or in combination) in two different carrier systems BCP and PLA/PGA). The efffects of IGFBP-5 will be also tested in each group of the study.

128 calvaria defects will be created in 32 New Zeland rabbits, 4 defects for animal. Each defects will be randomly assigned to a different teatment group. Micro-CT and histology will be performed on 16 rabbits at 4 and 12 weeks to investigated the early and late phases of bone healing. New bone formation, vascularization, bone density and carrier resorption speed will be evaluated.

Alex Musser, DMD

Alex Musser, DMD - University of Cincinnati

grantees musserThird Molar Autotransplantation in the Pediatric Patient: Pilot Study


Alex Musser is a Chief Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery resident at the University of Cincinnati. He obtained his dental degree at the University of Louisville. 

Abstract:  It is well documented in the literature that the autotransplantation of teeth is a clinically successful procedure given the right indications. Currently, the literature is lacking in studies specifically addressing immature third molar to first molar autotransplantation. Without transplant, the patient would need mechanical space maintenance after loss of the first molar. Although mechanical space maintenance is an option, these prosthetics are not esthetic, they do not preserve hard and soft tissue, they do not provide proprioception, and orthodontic treatment is most assuredly needed in the future. By providing esthetics, bone and soft tissue preservation, proprioception and reducing the need for possible future orthodontic treatment, autotransplantation is clearly advantageous to the patient long term. The goals of this study are to evaluate if this surgery is a successful option for replacement of a first molar, occlusal space and alveolar bone maintenance and to provide the background for future studies.  Our central hypothesis is that autotransplantation of an immature third molar to a first molar recipient site (using a specifically defined pre-operative, surgical, and post-operative protocol with a multidisciplinary approach) will be a successful alternative to extraction with or without other forms of space maintenance.

Pasha Shakoori, DDS

Pasha Shakoori, DDS- University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

grantees shakooriApplication of Dental Pulp Stem Cells (DPSCs) in Facial Nerve Regeneration


Coming Soon...

Dental pulp-derived stem cells (DPSCs) are capable of differentiating into different lineages of neural cells, thus rendering them a promising candidate seed cells for peripheral nerve regeneration. Tissue-engineered nerve conduits with DPSCs have been shown to promote facial nerve regeneration in rats. Our preliminary data showed that DPSCs can be differentiated into both Schwann and neuron-like cells when cultured under 2D- and small-intestine submucosa (SIS) membranes.  Based on these findings, we hypothesize that DPSCs seeded on SIS-scaffolds could represent a promising alternative stem cell-based nerve wrap for facial nerve repair/regeneration. Our project aims to optimize the conditions to differentiate DPSCs into both Schwann and neuronal cells under 2D- and SIS 3D-culture conditions. Human DPSCs can be an excellent candidate for peripheral nerve regeneration due to its neural crest origin, sufficient availability, ready accessibility, non-invasive harvesting procedures, rapid proliferation, multipotent differentiation, and successful integration into host tissues with immunologic tolerance. In addition, in combination with tissue engineering technologies, these DPSCs can also serve as a superior seed cell source for the development of engineered nerve products that hold great promises for clinical application for peripheral nerve repair/regeneration.

The Osteo Science Foundation