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Determining the Factors Governing Increased Susceptibility to Periodontal Diseases

Thursday, September 15, 2016 — Poster Session III

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • M Somerman
  • Laboratory of Oral Tissues Biology, NIAMS, collaborators trans-NIH and our extramural (national and international) partners


The periodontium consists of cementum, the mineralized tissue on the tooth root surface, the alveolar bone surrounding the tooth, and the periodontal ligament, a soft connective tissue sandwiched between and inserted into the bone and cementum. These tissues can be compromised as a result of developmental defects and host–mediated responses to infection and other environmental exposures. The impact of periodontal disease in terms of social, psychological and economic burden on individuals, communities and health services is enormous. Our laboratory uses a variety of in vivo and in vitro models to better define the causes of periodontal diseases and utilizes the knowledge gained to develop interventions for treating periodontal diseases.
Three projects will be described.
1. Regulators of Mineralization, Pi/PPi: Phosphate and pyrophosphate metabolism, and its effects on hydroxyapatite formation.
2. Extracellular Matrix Molecules. Effects of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, SIBLING (small integrin-binding ligand- N-linked glycoprotein) proteins and collagen (with a specific focus on osteogenesis imperfecta), on mineralization.
3. Modulators of Periodontogenesis: Translational and Clinical Research. Examining periodontal tissues of individuals with various hard/soft connective tissue and inflammatory diseases, coupled with availability of human tissues and animal models, help define the role of specific molecules influencing periodontal tissue homeostasis.
Significance: Our research to date has focused on defining mechanisms required to modulate Pi/PPi ratio and ECM family genes/proteins. Recent findings in our lab highlight the importance of fine tuning physiochemical and molecular factors toward achieving a homeostatic balance essential for formation and regeneration of periodontal tissues.

Category: Institute, Center, and Scientific Directors