Linking Discovery and Patient Care

  • Bridging the gap between basic research and clinical care is critical for delivering on the promise of scientific research.
  • Monday, February 3, 2014
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Forsyth's Center for Clinical and Translational Research is focused on meeting that goal.Thomas Van Dyke, DDS, PhD, and his team joined the Institute in 2010 to expand Forsyth's team and forge new partnership throughout industry and academia.

Patient care has been a cornerstone of Forsyth since its inception as a dental infirmary for children more than 100 years ago. The integration of clinical studies and laboratory analyses has been a central theme of research at Forsyth for more than four decades. Basic, translational and clinical research funded by NIH and our corporate partners has resulted in many breakthroughs that have shaped our current understanding of oral diseases, and have had a major impact on how these diseases are diagnosed and treated.

Inflammation in Oral Disease and Beyond

The primary focus of Dr. Van Dyke's laboratory is to develop novel therapeutics for oral disease by capitalizing on biological processes. Dr. Van Dyke is internationally known for his work on a new class of anti-inflammatory mediators produced by our own bodies, termed "resolvins," that actively terminate inflammatory processes. (Inflammation is a key component of many oral and systemic conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular and periodontal disease.) His research suggests that control of inflammation in wound healing is essential for lost tissue regeneration and prevention of scarring. This knowledge is being used to investigate targeted agents that promote resolution of inflammation and may have a therapeutic benefit in plaque induced periodontal diseases.

The Time for Translational Research

Now more than ever, the connections between oral health and overall health are a clear indicator of the importance of the mouth as a gateway to health. Scientific processes are also creating new opportunities for accelerating the movement from basic research in the laboratory to improvements in patient care.