Three scientists at Boston’s Forsyth Institute have been awarded a total of $1.88 million in federal research funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus bill.
The National Institutes of Health made the grants through the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research with a goal of maintaining laboratory positions and creating jobs. The NIH unit awarded a total of 16 grants nationwide, but Forsyth was the only institution to receive three, according to Forsyth officials.
The Forsyth scientists are Nikos Soukos, Floyd Dewhirst and John Bartlett.
Soukos received a two-year award of $531,362 for research that is intended to develop a clinically appropriate way to enhance the penetration and effectiveness of photoactive compounds into human dental plaque. The procedure would encapsulate the compounds in biodegradable and biocompatible polymeric nanoparticles, helping to kill disease-causing bacteria.
Dewhirst received a two-year grant of $187,189 for his genome sequencing research designed to foster a greater understanding of the several hundred bacteria that live in the human oral cavity. These genome sequences are expected to provide a comprehensive list of the genes that disease-causing oral bacteria possess and will allow scientists to develop better methods for treating and preventing oral and systemic diseases.
Bartlett received a two-year grant of $1.16 million for his project to define the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress responses in dental fluorosis, a condition that results in discolored and/or pitted teeth due to over-exposure to FLUORIDE. This work will identify the genes and molecular pathways that respond to fluoride exposure.
The Forsyth Institute is an independent organization dedicated to scientific research and education in oral health and related biomedical sciences.