Grant to Fund Bone Repair Study

Dentistry Today


Three professors at the University of Chicago have received a $60,000 National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award pilot grant for their project, “Monocyte/Macrophage Control of Induced Bone Repair Application.” The research is intended to extend existing knowledge of the influence of the immune system on bone repair, with significant potential applications in implant dentistry.

“In particular, we are interested in how one type of immune cell, the monocyte, influences bone regeneration,” said Lyndon Cooper, DDS, PhD, associate dean for research and head of oral biology at the school. “This is important to dentistry and medicine because the complications and difficulties we face in bone regeneration appear in individuals with inflammation or immune system dysfunction.”

For example, the researchers noted, patients with type 2 diabetes experience greater complications and failures in dental implant therapy.

“In this regard, we are also proposing to study the function of monocytes in bone repair in a model of diabetes,” Cooper said.

The pilot grant was designed to promote collaboration. Ghadeer Thalji, DDS, PhD, clinical associate professor of restorative dentistry, and Timothy Koh, PhD, MA, professor of applied health sciences, are working with Cooper on the project.

“Collaboration with Dr. Koh, who has expertise in monocyte function and particularly in diabetes, enables our laboratory with expertise in bone regeneration to address these clinically important questions in more meaningful ways,” Cooper said. “Through our collaborative efforts, we hope to determine how monocytes in health and disease influence bone regeneration. Ultimately, this may permit better clinical control of bone healing and regeneration in the clinical setting.”

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