Daniel Kulakowski joins the MOST program

Daniel Kulakowski has recently joined the MOST program as a recipient of an NIH T32 postdoctoral fellowship. He will work in Dr. Guido Pauli’s group the College of Pharmacy  in a interdisciplinary project with Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo that has recently established the ability of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (oPACs) to modify dentin for restorative/reparative dentistry procedures. These compounds are isolated from botanical sources, including cocoa, grapeseed and witch hazel, and currently their effects on dental pulp cells are unknown. He will be assessing the toxicity and bioactivity of oPACs on dental pulp stem cells in a biomimetic 3D extracellular matrix scaffold in collaboration with Dr. Sriram Ravindran.

Daniel received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Rutgers University and earned his Ph.D. from The City University of New York (CUNY) in Biology/Plant Sciences with a focus on phytochemistry and ethnobotany, where he studied a tea from Micronesia used to stimulate the immune system. While he misses the crystal clear waters and waves of Micronesia, Lake Michigan is a good replacement (in the summer). When not in the lab Daniel enjoys cycling, gardening and cooking.


PhD-DMD student Mat Wietecha next career chapter after graduation

On May 9, MOST dual-degree student Mat Wietecha successfully completed a 7 year PhD-DMD program! Mat defended his PhD thesis in December 15, 2014. His PhD dissertation is titled  “Negative regulators of angiogenesis during wound healing” and he was mentored by Dr. Luisa DiPietro. He is soon moving to Zurich, Switzerland for his next career step as a post-doctoral research at the ETH (Federal Institute of Technology). He will be working in the laboratory of Professor of Cell Biology Dr. Sabine Werner, and his research project will involve investigating molecular parallels between tissue repair/regeneration and carcinogenesis. Mat received his BS from UIC, he has been part of the MOST family for over 7 years, has received many honors, published many papers and was incredibly dedicated to patient care.  He successfully balanced the high demand of a dual degree program, always with a great smile. Indeed an amazing role model! We will miss him! Wishing Dr. Wietecha all the best on the new chapter of his academic career!




MOST trainee Ellie Jhun receives all-expenses-paid award to participate at the The St. Jude National Graduate Student Symposium (NGSS).  She is one of 44 students selected from a pool of over 1800 applicants. The event will be held at St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee on April 7-11, 2015.The event allows PhD-level graduate students from around the U.S. to show their work and learn about research done at St. Jude. Ellie will present her work on sickle pain pharmacogenetics. Her mentor is Dr. Jim Wang in the department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences. Additional information from the symposium can be found at http://www.stjude.org/ngss.

Elizabeth Razdolsky awarded F30 grant by NIDCR

MOST trainee Elizabeth Razdolsky is the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (F30) from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Razdolsky, has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and is currently a 4th year in the COD’s DMD/PhD Program. She will receive $48,467 a year to study a protein called pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), which may regulate blood vessel formation and scar formation in wounds. These studies may suggest future therapeutic options for tissue regeneration, fibrosis and cancer.
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In the news: Dr. George quoted in USA Today

Dr. Anne George, MOST Co-Director, was quoted on news of the use of lasers to regenerate dentin.  Read about it here.

Dr. Bedran-Russo named MOST Director

Ana Bedran-Russo, DDS, PhD

Ana Bedran-Russo, DDS, PhD

Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo, DDS, PhD, Associate Professor of Restorative Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago has been named director of the MOST Program.  She assumes the role previously held by Dr. Luisa DiPietro.  Dr. Bedran-Russo maintains an active and highly regarded NIH funded research program in the field of biomaterials and serves as President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Dental Materials Group (DMG).  Dr. Bedran-Russo has mentored numerous trainees at all levels and has extensive experience as a member of review panels for NIH T32 and F awards.   She will continue to direct the MOST in the Summer program.

Dr. DiPietro will continue to remain active in the MOST Program.  She currently serves as Director of the Center for Wound Repair & Regeneration and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and continues to mentor students.  She will direct the MOST Program’s Career Development Series.

Postdoc studies impact of vibration on chronic wounds

Postdoctoral trainee, Eileen Weinheimer-Haus and her mentor, Dr. Timothy Koh, were recently featured for their findings on the impact of vibration on healing chronic wounds.  Read more…Weinheimer_Haus

Student awarded NIDCR fellowship grant

Marybeth Francis, DMD PhD studentOver the next five years, PhD/DMD candidate Marybeth Francis will receive $485,625 grant as part of a fellowship funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Ms. Francis’ goal for this fellowship is to gain valuable skills in academic, clinical, and research related to dentistry to lay the foundation for a career as a dentist scientist. This award is an essential first step in a career as a successful, funded scientist.

The fellowship is a chance for Ms. Francis to study diabetes and periodontitis, chronic inflammatory diseases having a significant effect on public health. Chronic inflammatory diseases such as periodontal disease are greatly exacerbated in diabetic patients. The goal of Ms. Francis’ research is to elucidate the mechanism of the exacerbated periodontitis in diabetic patients and to identify possible treatments.

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PhD/DMD candidate Mat Wietecha making transformative impact

Mat Wietecha was recently featured in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s highlights of student research across campus. Mat conducts research on wound healing and tissue regeneration and is mentored by Dr. Luisa DiPietro. While the whole video is worth watching, Mat first appears at the 2:20 mark.

MOST Co-Director named UIC Researcher of the Year

AnneGeorge_086_ByJeffDahlgrenDr. Anne George, was recently recognized by the University of Illinois at Chicago for her research in mineralized tissue.  The Researcher of the Year award recognizes 10 UIC scientists who are advancing knowledge in their fields. The Distinguished Researcher Award honors five researchers with a record of outstanding achievement.

Anne George’s research could one day bring a new way of filling dental cavities. George, professor of oral biology and Allan G. Brodie endowed professor in the College of Dentistry, is studying how proteins can regenerate dentin, a calcified tissue of the body that is one of the four major components of teeth.

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