Oral Health Group

UofT Dentistry Magazine: Up Front

September 12, 2016
by UofT Dentistry

Finding Invading Markers for Oral Cancer
Assistant Professor Marco Magalhaes 0T9 PhD, IT5 MSc OP/OM wants to put a stop to the stressful and expensive guessing game over which premalignant oral lesions will develop into cancer.

His work on so-called invadopodia markers in tissues, which could lead to a reliable oral cancer test, has earned him a prestigious $200,000 Canadian Cancer Society Innovation Grant.

This two-year grant will allow him to study invadopodia, membrane protrusions in cancer cells that invade healthy tissues. Magalhaes hopes that by identifying which lesions have these finger-like properties, a future test will be able to rout out dangerous cancers early in the profession of the disease.

Better, Stronger, Smarter Fillings
Up to 70 per cent of composite resin dental work fails every year. Professor Yoav Finer 0T0 PhD, 0T3 MSc Prostho, George Zarb/Nobel Bio Care Chair in Prosthothodontics, is building a new “smart” filling made of a more robust resin also capable of releasing medication when needed.

He’s developing this futuristic product with $240,000 in Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding.

Music’s Impact on Jaw Muscles
Music calms the savage beast. But can it help relax the over-active facial muscles in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD)?

To test the theory of this connection, Assistant Professor Iacopo Cioffi and a group of researchers from the Faculty of Music’s Music and Health Science Research Collaboratory and Mount Sinai Hospital have earned American Academy of Orofacial Pain funding.

Cioffi’s previous research shows that patients with TMD have overactive masticatory muscles, and “we showed that anxiety and stress are related to the frequency of clenching,” says Cioffi.

Since music has proven connection to mood, perhaps it can help those overactive muscles too.

Moving Pain Research Off the Bench
Faculty of Dentistry’s Dr. David Lam 0T1, 0T8 PhD OMFS has been awarded a prestigious University of Toronto Connaught Fund of $150,000 to host a Summer Connaught Institute in Pain for the next three years.

The Institute will host pain experts from around the world to look at chronic, neuropathic and cancer pain.

Most importantly, they’ll focus on the translation of pain research to strategic action.

“Unfortunately, a gap still exists between pain research and clinical practice,” says Lam.

The Summer Institute promises a multidisciplinary, intensive approach to knowledge translation – something that Lam says is key to moving research off the bench and into people’s lives.

All work originates from UofT Dentistry magazine. Please see below for the original publication from their Summer/Fall 2016 issue.