Skip to content

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.”

Dr. Thomas Van Dyke is Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research and Chair of the Department of Applied Oral Sciences. He provides leadership for Forsyth’s clinical research team and is responsible for expanding Forsyth’s clinical presence in the research community. Dr. Van Dyke drives the Institute’s efforts to expand Forsyth’s connections to industry and corporate partners.

Dr. Van Dyke is a world-renowned leader in translational research. His clinical research team has focused largely on drug treatment for periodontitis and issues related to systematic diseases such as diabetes. He has broad connections with corporations and universities worldwide. Dr. Van Dyke joined Forsyth from Boston University where he was Professor, Department of Periodontology and Oral Biology, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine; Program Director, Postdoctoral Periodontology; Director, Clinical Research Center, and Associate Director Boston University School of Medicine General Clinical Research Center.

Thomas E. Van Dyke received his dental degree in 1973 from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA and a PhD in Oral Biology from State University of New York at Buffalo, NY in 1982. Since 1995, Dr. Van Dyke’s research has focused on the regulation of the innate immune response by active endogenous pathways.

He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and he received the IADR Award for Basic Research in Periodontology in 2001 and the Norton Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research in 2002 among other honors and awards. He serves, or has served, on the editorial boards of Infection and Immunity, Journal of Periodontology, Journal of Periodontal Research, Journal of Clinical Periodontology, Journal of Dental Research, Journal of the International Academy of Periodontology, Oral Microbiology and Immunology, Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Current Opinions in Periodontology , Magazyn Stomatologiczy Dental Magazine, and he edited Periodontology 2000 Vols. 6 (1994) and 27 (2001). He served as President of the Periodontal Diseases Research Group of the IADR from 1991-1992. His other IADR/AADR service includes Membership Committee, 1983-1986, Science Information Committee, 1990-1993, and Scientific Awards Committee, 2001-2006. Dr. Van Dyke has also served as President of the International Academy of Periodontology (1997-1999).

Dr. Van Dyke has authored/co-authored 400+ original articles, and numerous abstracts and book chapters. He is a member of the American/International Association of Dental Research, American Academy of Periodontology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Immunologists, American Dental Association, American Society of Microbiology, International Academy of Periodontology, IADR Periodontal Research Group, International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society, Northeast Periodontal Society, and Society for Leukocyte Biology. His research interests are the structural and functional relationship of abnormalities of the inflammatory process with focus on regulation of phagocytic cells, in the etiology and pathogenesis of periodontal diseases. He is best known for his work on the pathways of resolution of inflammation and pathogenesis of periodontal diseases, neutrophil biology, and clinical research.

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

© The Forsyth Institute, 2023. All Rights Reserved