Luciana Macchion Shaddox
Tenured-Associated professor, Department of Periodontology, University of Florida, USA
I have been conducting clinical research since my dental school years. I can confidently say that my passion for the generation of clinically applicable and relevant knowledge and the dissemination of such knowledge were the driving forces of my academic career choice. Recently, I have been devoting most of my academic time in charge of 2 clinical trials: the major one in aggressive periodontitis in children, and the second in diabetic patients, trying to decipher the mechanisms of oral and systemic inflammatory response to bacteria as it relates to clinical breakdown of periodontal tissues and host response to periodontal treatment. The basic science applicable to the pathogenesis of periodontal disease and the various clinical presentations of host responses to treatment fascinates me and drives me to further investigations in this area. In our major clinical project, we have been able to gather a large cohort of children with a rare and severe form of aggressive periodontitis (AgP) in north Florida, which mechanism is still very poorly understood. The primary goal is finding susceptibility patterns thru a mechanistic approach to ultimately achieve prevention. We have extensively published findings in this population regarding systemic and local inflammatory response and relationship to treatment response. Under the current grant renewal, our objectives are to decipher the influence of genetic and epigenetic characteristics in the hyper-inflammatory response profile observed in this AgP cohort. The overarching goal of this project is to better understand host response to bacteria and its mechanisms in order to identify potential targets for the development of novel active and preventive therapies in the future. I believe that my experience with clinical translational research in the area of microbiology and immunology responses associated with specific clinical features and treatment response of AgP, coupled with my experience in assembling a large cohort of a rare disease and my outstanding collaborations with investigators and clinicians inside and outside our institution will enable me to successfully fulfill the aims of this project.
Clinical translational study on children and adolescents with localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP) in children and adolescents.