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Columbia research to examine gene influence on severity of peridontal disease, therapy response

ctor of the Division of Periodontics, Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery. "We intend to identify the molecular basis of the wide spectrum of responses to periodontal bacteria, and use this information to reduce the risk of periodontitis and develop new, more targeted therapies."

The patient's individual immuno-inflammatory response to the bacterial challenge is believed to determine the type, extent and severity of periodontitis, and this response is believed to have a strong genetic component. Dr. Papapanou and his team will examine gene expression signatures to define different subtypes of the disease in order to understand the molecular processes involved in each subtype.

The research will take advantage of contemporary gene expression profiling technology, similar to that used to study the behavior and prognosis of certain cancers. Dr. Papapanou and his team will study 120 patients 60 with chronic and 60 with aggressive periodontitis. Samples of inflamed gingival tissue from the patients will be analyzed to identify local patterns of gene expression in inflamed gums, and will be used to develop a novel classification scheme based on similarities in gene expression signatures.

"In addition to providing insights into the pathobiology of periodontitis, this research will provide a wealth of data on the basic host responses to infection," said Paul Pavlidis, Ph.D., co-principal investigator of the study and assistant professor in the Columbia University department of Biomedical Informatics and the Columbia Genome Center.


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Contact: Craig LeMoult
cel2113@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
10-Sep-2004


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