Thomas E. Van Dyke, DDS, PhD
Senior Member of Staff
Vice President of Clinical and Translational Research
Professor in Oral Medicine, Infection, and Immunity, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Tom Van Dyke’s primary research focus has been to define the pathogenesis of periodontitis and other inflammatory diseases. The key question is the relationship between the oral microbiome that stimulates the inflammatory response and how the host response modifies the microbiome.
Van Dyke’s research is focused on the development of novel therapeutics for oral diseases by exploiting natural biological processes. He and his collaborators are internationally known for their work on a new class of anti-inflammatory mediators produced by our own bodies, termed lipoxins and resolvins. These molecules, which actively mediate resolution of inflammation, are significant because inflammation plays a major part in oral and systemic diseases, including gum disease, diabetes and heart disease. Van Dyke’s research suggests that controlling inflammation in wound healing is essential for regenerating lost tissue and preventing scarring. The therapeutic use of these compounds could be a breakthrough, impacting everything from tooth loss to sepsis.
The Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Forsyth provides the means to bring these discoveries and developments to the patient. “Prior to this work, there was no reliable way to safely control excess inflammation and reverse inflammatory disease,” said Van Dyke. “Development of new therapeutics based on direct mediators of resolution of inflammation provides an opportunity to treat periodontal and other inflammatory diseases with regeneration of all lost tissues.”
Case Western Reserve University, DDS, 1973
State University of New York at Buffalo, MS, 1979, Oral Sciences
State University of New York at Buffalo, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Periodontology, 1980
State University of New York at Buffalo, PhD, 1982, Oral Biology