Game Changing Research at RSDM

RSDM microbiologist Carla Cugini studies how bacteria communicate with each other. She hopes her work can one day be used to fight disease.

RSDM researchers have achieved milestone breakthroughs with work that is inherently transformative. They use microbes found in the oral cavity as the basis for treating cancer, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, drug-resistant bacteria and other illnesses.

Others use stem cells to regenerate dental pulp in hopes of restoring health to dead tissue, which could someday transform the root canal procedure.

Their work fighting caries and periodontal disease could lead to transfigurative new methods of diagnosis and treatment. Industrial research for Colgate Palmolive and other companies supports the creation of oral hygiene products that have a global impact on public health. Our Department of Oral Biology, where the work takes place, is one of the most well-funded basic science departments at Rutgers University.

As part of research that explores links between systemic illnesses and the microbiology of the mouth, we are studying the connection between heart disease and oral bacteria, in addition to the genetic origins of diseases of the oral cavity.

Researchers from our Center for Temporomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain include internationally recognized faculty who explore how the body perceives and processes pain. They also collaborate with researchers worldwide to create new diagnostic standards for the treatment of chronic pain. Many of their patients suffer from conditions that were repeatedly misdiagnosed before they were treated at RSDM. These include extremely rare nerve disorders and syndromes affecting the mouth and face.

In 2018 and 2017,  we received funding from the NIH, the United States Military and private industry. Funding totaled $5.3 million, including multi-year grants. But one of our most significant transformations has been the $16 million state-funded construction of new labs and research offices, which began in 2016 and was completed this year.