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Laboratory ResearchLab Research

The Center for Oral Health supports several laboratories housing the most modern scientific equipment and staffed by scientists and research assistants to support faculty doing biological research. 

Labs are located in the Dental Science Building, 3rd and 4th floors and the 1st floor of the Bosomworth Medical Sciences Building.

Current Research Projects

Ontogeny of Innate Immune Responses at Mucosal Surfaces
Principle Investigator:  Octavio Gonzalez, PhD College of Dentistry
Sponsor:  National Institutes of Health (COBRE)
This proposal is a collaborative relationship between investigators at the University of Kentucky, the Caribbean Primate Research Center  (CPRC), and the University of Puerto Rico Dental School.  Using the nonhuman primate model of periodontal infection and disease, we will determine longitudinal changes in innate immune responses througout age of development of the individual, specifically related to the initiation, progression, and resolution of the disease process.

Gene Therapy For Orofacial Pain
Principle Investigator:  Robert Danaher, PhD
Sponsor:  National Institutes of Health (COBRE)
The overall hypothesis of this research is HSV based gene therapy can be used effectively and safely to alleviate orofacial pain.  Specific Aim 1. Test the hypothesis that expression of endomorphin in rat TGs results in more effective abrogation of inflammatory orofacial pain than expression of enkephalin and glutamic acid decarboxylase. Specific Aim 2. Test the hypothesis that expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase in rat TGs results in more effective abrogation of neuropathic orofacial pain than expression of enkephalin and endomorphin.

Delivery of Polyphenols in Gum for Treatment of Gingivitis
Principle Investigator:  Craig Miller
Sponsor:  Four Tigers, LLC
To test the hypothesis that bioactive phytochemicals released from the FBP chewing gum inhibit biofilm and dental plaque formation in humans.

Genetic Markers Associated with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer and Hypodontia
Principle Investigator:  Lorri Morford, PhD
Sponsor:  National Institutes of Health
The specific aims of this proposal re to  (1) create a DNA resource bank to study multiple genetic associations (i.e., the presence of specific gene alleles) to connect the presence of dental anomalies with EOC disease, and (2) identify genetic markers (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) within specific signaling pathways related to tooth and/or ovarian tissue development/cancer), that are associated with tooth anomalies and EOC – with special emphasis on the Activin/Inhibin signaling pathway and the RUNX signaling pathway.