Think of the human oral cavity as a highly desirable spot for bacteria to live. There is evidence that more than 550 species of microorganisms find it a hospitable environment to call home.
New knowledge is essential to combat the scourge of bone loss. As recently as 2005, the scientific community did not know what triggered periodontal bone loss in humans.
After a century at 140 the Fenway in Boston, the Forsyth Institute relocated to the heart of Kendall Square Cambridge, an epicenter of biomedical research.
Bridging the gap between basic research and clinical care is critical for delivering on the promise of scientific research.
Dental enamel is the hardest substance produced by the human body, but does not start out that way. When it first begins forming on an un-erupted developing tooth, enamel tissue is as soft as cheese.
Much of the work at Forsyth bridges oral health and overall health. With broad scientific connections and synergy between the mouth and the body’s response to bacteria, there is a great deal of overlap between oral and systemic health.
With a background in biology and anthropology, Felicitas Bidlack is interested in tooth formation, evolution, and the processes that drive mineral formation, and de-and re-mineralization of teeth.
University of Ulm, BS, 1997, Microbiology
University of Ulm, MS, 2000, Microbiology
University of Ulm, PhD, 2004, Microbiology
A recent collaborator with scientists at Forsyth, Gary Borisy, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, joined the Department of Microbiology in 2013.
Many people in the United States are under the impression that tuberculosis (TB) is no longer an epidemic—but they are mistaken. Antonio Campos-Neto won’t rest until this misconception becomes reality.
Mark Cayabyab’s research focuses on vaccine development, as well as the role of innate immunity in the induction of protective memory immune responses. The overall goal of this research is to develop effective vaccines against infectious diseases.
Scientific research today is truly interdisciplinary—computer science, statistics, mathematics and engineering all play an important role in the life sciences. Tsute Chen’s work illustrates how far research has evolved and its integration with different disciplines.
Floyd Dewhirst was deciphering the oral microbiome before the term microbiome was created. Dewhirst’s primary research focus has been to define the diversity, genetic capability and pathogenic potential of organisms present in the human oral cavity.
Research in the Duncan lab focuses on how bacteria respond to environmental signals and become disease causing (‘pathogenic’). Humans live peacefully with billions of microorganisms on and in their bodies.
Jorge Frias-Lopez is a microbial ecologist. He joined Forsyth because he finds the mouth to be an ideal model for his work.
Around the world, obesity and related health conditions are on the rise. Currently, diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Many complex factors contribute to this epidemic.
Xiaozhe Han is interested in the host immune response in periodontal disease tissue destruction, particularly in the area of osteoimmunology, the interaction between the immune system and bone metabolism and its role in inflammatory bone destruction.
Markus Hardt studies the molecular mechanisms of disease, with the goal of finding pathways that lead to new diagnostics and therapeutics. Hardt is particularly interested in cancer pain. Effective treatment of pain remains a critical unmet goal in cancer therapy.
As a dentist and specialist (periodontist), Hatice Hasturk’s work mainly involves the oral cavity, but she is interested in much more than just improving dental care.
It has been an exciting decade in the world of microbiology. The microbiome is frequently written about in the mainstream media—we know much more about the ecology of the microorganisms that live within and on us than ever before.
Through the integration of clinical and laboratory research, Alpdogan (Alp) Kantarci focuses on helping people live healthier lives with healthy mouths.
Biological or physiological properties probably do not come to mind when the average person thinks about saliva. However, when it comes to gum disease, saliva may hold the key to creating a healthy mouth—one in which the good bacteria keep the bad bacteria in check.
Bacteria live on us, “in” us, and on surfaces all around us. Katherine Lemon, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, is trying to figure out how the good bacteria in the nose and throat help keep the “bad” bacteria out or, at least, under control.
Henry Margolis has the ultimate goal of never seeing a filling in a tooth again. He envisions a future in which the tooth’s own enamel could be repaired naturally.
The Paster lab provides researchers with a scientific “canary in a coal” mine.
Many people, at one time or another, have a dream that involves their teeth disintegrating. This common dream is said to represent fears and anxiety. For people with amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) this nightmare can become a reality.
Root canals, which treat endodontic infections, are one of the most common dental procedures.
Americans spend over $100 billion each year on dental care. Two of the most costly conditions, with equally devastating health effects, are gum diseases and endodontic infections.
For almost 30 years, Pramod (Bob) Soparkar has been bringing Forsyth’s expertise to bear in the Middle East, while setting the paradigm for children’s oral health in Kuwait.
The Applied Molecular Photomedicine Laboratory (AMPL) was founded by Nikos Soukos at the Forsyth Institute in 2003. This is a translational research laboratory with strong collaborations with outstanding clinicians, scientists and engineers.
Jackie Starr wears two hats, one as Director of Forsyth’s Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core, and the other as a principal investigator. As Director of the core, she plays a key support role for much of Forsyth’s research.
The Stashenko laboratory has long been at the forefront of research into how the immune and skeletal systems interact—the field of ‘osteoimmunology’.
Anne Tanner is a Forsyth dentist/microbiologist whose research interests have encompassed periodontal infections and dental caries (cavities).
Mary Tavares’ research is closely linked to Forsyth’s founding mission. With a focus on both clinical and public health research, Tavares is interested in bringing about policy change that has an impact on dental health.
Ricardo Teles is working to gain an understanding of the cause and develop a cure for periodontal disease. His research is grounded in patient care and he treats patients in both clinical studies and in Forsyth’s Faculty practice.
Flavia Teles is working to answer a complex question. What is the role of the uncultivated microbiota in the oral cavity? Biofilms are responsible for most of the infections affecting the human body.
When Tom Van Dyke was asked what future innovation at Forsyth would spark an invitation to give a TED Talk, he had an interesting answer. “We’d be invited for doing one thing but the real breakthrough− and our message−would be something else entirely.
Qing Yu is interested in understanding the immunological mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of several systemic autoimmune diseases that affect oral health, in order to develop effective and targeted therapeutic approaches for these diseases.