Monday, June 11, 2018

American Academy of Periodontology, SUNSTAR Announce 2018 Innovation Grant Recipients

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The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is pleased to announce that members Hsun Liang Chan, DDS, MS, and Jeff C.W. Wang, DDS, DMSc, are the 2018 recipients of the SUNSTAR Innovation Grant. They will each receive $30,000 for their research projects as part of the AAP’s partnership with oral health and technology company SUNSTAR, which has committed to awarding scientific grants to AAP members whose investigations show significant potential to advance the specialty periodontics.


Dr. Chan’s research project, “In-Situ Evaluation of Periodontal Inflammation with Ultrasonography,” aims to utilize ultrasound imaging to assess periodontal inflammation with the long-term goal of developing a point-of-care device to diagnose and monitor inflammation. “The ultrasound method may be able to detect disease at earlier stages so that treatment can be rendered in a timely manner. It intends to provide information about what is going to happen instead of what has already happened. Therefore, tooth longevity and quality of life can be improved,” Dr. Chan says.


Dr. Wang’s research project, “Development of Patient-friendly Oral Health Report with Customized Oral Hygiene Instructional Video for Enhanced Patient Education Modalities,” hopes to eventually improve patient education, motivation, and compliance with the use of technology-based visual aids and reports. “This [research project] is one step towards future personalized precision patient education, using a tailored oral and periodontal health report as a platform to educate patients about their own clinical, periodontal, and radiographic findings,” Dr. Wang says. “Without patient health literacy, patient motivation, and compliance, the goal of long-term oral health is negated.”


As part of the Innovation Grant program, SUNSTAR has committed $250,000 towards six research grants to select AAP members over a three-year period, which began in 2017. Members of the AAP’s Research Submissions Committee examine all abstracts against criteria established by SUNSTAR and the Academy. Dr. Chan and Dr. Wang are the second and third recipients of the award.
“These investigations have the potential to transform periodontal disease diagnosis and patient literacy,” says Steven R. Daniel, DDS, president of the AAP. “SUNSTAR’s generous backing of this novel research accelerates the innovation that will define the future of the specialty. The Academy applauds SUNSTAR for its longstanding dedication to furthering the science and practice of periodontics.”
“The work of this year’s Innovation Grant recipients will influence the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease,” says Jackie Sanders, manager of professional relations at SUNSTAR. “We are pleased to unite with the AAP in providing a platform for scientific research and, subsequently, the improvement of patient health.”


Dr. Chan, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Wang, predoctoral director and clinical assistant professor, are both faculty at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine. They will present the results of their studies at a future AAP Annual Meeting.

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