Giuseppe Intini, DDS, PhD, 2008 Teaching Fellow:

1. What is your research focus?

My current research focuses on the biology of the adult skeletal stem cells. We use mouse genetics and in vivo imaging to describe the location of these stem cells within the intramembranous bone, their contribution to tissue repair, the effects of aging on these cells, and the molecular mechanisms that control their "stemness".

2. What has/have been the most significant contribution(s) of your research to our specialty?

As a Ph.D. graduate student and resident in the Periodontics program at University at Buffalo I made contributions in the competitive area of tissue engineering inventing a novel osteoinductive biomaterial able to induce bone formation. The manuscript describing the properties of this new biomaterial, detailing the methods for its preparation and clinical applications was published in the Journal of Translational Medicine in 2007. Since then, the article has been cited in several subsequent publications and has been accessed on the journal's web site 16,905 times, making it one of the top-five most accessed research manuscripts ever published by this journal.

3. What are some future directions of your research program?

My laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the "stemness" of the skeletal progenitor cells. The elucidation of these mechanisms may lead to the development of novel and more effective strategies for regeneration of the periodontium.

4. What influence did the support from the Foundation have on your career as a researcher?

The support of the Foundation was fundamental to provide a sense of financial security during my post-doctoral fellowship, when 100% of my time was dedicated to developing my independent research pathway.

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Past Award Winners Update

Congratulations to Gustavo Avila-Ortiz, DDS, MS, PhD, 2011 Teaching Fellow and 2009 AAPF Fellow to the ADEA/AAL Institute for Teaching and Learning in the Health Professions, who recently was appointed Department Chair (DEO) and promoted to Professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Department of Periodontics.