Philadelphia — Bringing together researchers from throughout China, Penn Dental Medicine recently presented a symposium in Beijing in collaboration with State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases within Sichuan University’s West China School of Stomatology. Titled Biofilms, Microbiomes and Oral Diseases: Challenges and Future Perspectives, the September 30 program was held at Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC) – the second symposium to be presented by Penn Dental Medicine through support from Penn’s China Research and Engagement Fund (CREF).
The School was among the inaugural recipients of the CREF awards, established by the University to stimulate and support activity in China and engagement with the Penn Wharton China Center, which opened in March 2015. Penn Dental Medicine’s CREF grant, Advancing Research and Clinical Practice, includes three research symposia – one on bone biology, which took place in 2016; the recently presented biofilm program; and a third on stem cells, tentatively planned for 2018. The CREF grant will also fund a conference on the delivery of dental care to China.
Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo, Professor of Orthodontics and Divisions of Pediatric Dentistry & Community Oral Health — a co-principal investigator on the CREF grant — led the development of the biofilm symposium. The program included lectures by Dr. Koo and Morton Amsterdam Dean Denis Kinane, along with seven leading researchers from schools throughout China addressing a variety of biofilm-related topics from mechanisms of biofilm virulence to novel therapeutic approaches.
The participating lecturers represented Sichuan University, Fudan University, two institutes within the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Medical University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Peking University. A poster session and competition featuring research of postdoctoral/junior faculty and graduate students was also part of the program. Symposium sponsors included Proctor & Gamble Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd; Colgate-Palmolive (China) Co., Ltd; Personalbio; and Major Bio.
“The day provided a platform for discussion on the best ways forward to learn more about this critical component in oral diseases and to find new ways to prevent them,” says Dr. Koo. “I think the connections made could lead to greater collaborations with top scientists in China in the future that are mutually beneficial as biofilm-associated oral diseases plague both the American and the Chinese populations.”