Research in the School of Dental Medicine extends beyond just the CWRU campus. Faculty, Staff, and Students regularly collaborate with international dental professionals and institutions through research projects and educational opportunities, striving to positively impact oral health on a global level. Additionally, dental educators and practitioners around the world are able to take advantage of resources and programs offered by the School of Dental Medicine. Learn more about international research below.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Clinic
The Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Clinic houses a global research database containing more than 12,000 three-dimensional images that can be used by researchers and practitioners worldwide. Researchers in countries such as Korea, Turkey, Serbia, Brazil, Italy, and China have accessed images for various published projects. As oral health is increasingly viewed as a barometer for other health issues, the use of images from the database has expanded to include research in the areas of anesthesiology, intubation issues, airway problems, sleep apnea, and early identification of respiratory issues. Locally, the staff has worked in award winning projects with medical divisions of the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.
Dr. Aaron Weinberg, Associate Dean for Research, Professor, and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, leads initiatives by School of Dental Medicine faculty to research the complications of HIV and oral diseases, including head and neck cancer, in Uganda. The partnership between Uganda and the School of Dental Medicine has resulted in a decrease in multiple infectious diseases in Uganda, including HIV. Through Dr. Weinberg's involvement, an oral health clinic was established in the Joint Clinical Research Center (JCRC), an internationally renowned center for HIV treatment and research in Kampala, Uganda. CWRU is the only dental school in the world to have an oral health clinic in Uganda that addresses the oral health needs of those dealing with HIV and is referred to for patients from six separate regional health centers in the country. Dr. Weinberg is collaborating with Dr. Chad Zender, Associate Professor, to conduct international multi-site pilot studies with University Hospitals, the JCRC, the Ugandan Cancer Institute, and Makerere University that are studying the incidence of HPV-related head and neck cancer in patients who have HIV. Find out more about the research in Uganda.
The incidence of head and neck cancer in the Republic of Taiwan is approaching epidemic levels due principally to the habit of chewing of a plant called betel-quid, which in 20 percent of cases can lead to oral cancer. As in Uganda, health officials and researchers in Taiwan are interested in finding ways to detect head and neck cancers early. Dr. Weinberg met with representatives of Taiwan and Taipei Medical University during a visit with university leadership and launched a collaboration to expand the oral cancer pilot study.
This November, the pilot study received funding from the Clinical Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC), which involves translational science between CWRU, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, and Taipei Medical University, to conduct the research in Taiwan. The implementation of the pilot study at a third site will allow for collection of data from three distinct populations and provide a solid data set. Find out more about research in Taiwan.