The Department of Surgical & Hospital Dentistry conducts research focused on health disparities, birth defects, and oral pathology and maxillofacial radiology.

Health Disparities

Dr. Catherine Binkley studies the association between oral health and systemic disease in persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, elderly persons, and medically compromised individuals.  She has been PI or CoPI on numerous NIH grants since 2002 with over $2.0 million dollars of support.  Current projects include:

  • Oral H. pylori Prevalence in Intellectually/Developmentally Disabled Adults

R21DE017378 (PI – Binkley)  8/2008- 7/2010  NIH/NIDCR

The goal of this clinical research grant is to determine the oral and gastric prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in institutionalized persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Secondary goals are to determine the association between oral and gastric colonization with the H. pylori bacteria and to determine if oral H. pylori persists in the oral cavity after antibiotic treatment for gastric infection.

  • Chlorhexidine and Pneumonia in Nursing Home Residents

1K23 DE015760-01 (PI – Binkley) 3/2005-2/2009 NIH/NIDCR

This Research Career Development grant will support training and preparation for independent investigator status for the PI.  A randomized clinical trial will be conducted to investigate the effect of a placebo or chlorhexidine oral spray on the oral health and respiratory infection rate of dependent nursing home residents.

  • Effect of Oral Chlorhexidine on ICU Mortality and Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

1R21 DE17706-01A1 (PI – Binkley) 7/2007-6/2009 NIH/NIDCR

The goal of this clinical trial planning grant is to refine the study design and methodology, develop a Manual of Operations, refine patient recruitment approaches, organize potential study centers, and establish administrative and monitoring committees in preparation for a multi-site Phase III clinical trial.

Birth Defects

Dr. Paul Tiwana's investigative and clinical efforts are focused primarily on infants, children, and young adults affected by: craniofacial syndromes, craniosynostosis, cleft lip & palate, dento-facial deformities/orthognathic surgery, craniofacial trauma, and head & neck pathologic disease.

Oral Pathology

Drs. Mark Bernstein and Brian Shumway

Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology

Drs. Allan Farman and Bill Scarfe