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2018 ADIA Research Grant Tackles Periodontitis

2018 ADIA Research Grant Tackles Periodontitis

17th Apr 18

Summary —

Pioneering research to address chronic periodontitis has been awarded the Australian Dental Industry Association Research Grant  bestowed by the Australian Dental Research Foundation (ADRF), the nation’s leading funding body for early-career researchers into dental and oral health issues.

Key Issues For The Dental Industry —

The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) has a long track-record of supporting the development of innovative patient diagnostic and treatment options and it's in this context that the Australian Dental Industry Association Research Grant  is funded.

The most recent award was provided to Associate Professor Neil O’Brien-Simpson from the University of Melbourne Dental School into research associated with antimicrobial peptides that target periodontal pathogens.

The research seeks to address chronic periodontitis, an inflammatory disease associated with a pathogenic subgingival bacteria leading to the destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissues and ultimately tooth loss.It is a major public health problem in all societies and is estimated to affect at least 30% of the adult population, including 5% to 6% who experience severe forms of the disease.The prevention of chronic periodontitis relies on removing the bacterial burden by effective tooth cleaning, sometimes in combination with antibiotics and / or antiseptics; however, long-term use of antibiotics is undesirable due to the emergence of resistant bacteria.Indeed, several reports have highlighted an increasing trend towards antibiotic resistance in oral bacteria.

The increasing reports of multi-drug and antibiotic resistant bacteria and the limits on the use of antiseptics, such as chlorhexidine, have resulted in extensive research to discover and develop new and novel classes of antimicrobials that are effective and safe for human use.

The Australian Dental Industry Association Research Grant  provides funding to explore the potential of a novel class of antibiotics called antimicrobial peptides (AMP).The research team have already identified several AMPs by altering their sequence and adding chemical moieties that reduce toxicity to mammalian cells while targeting and enhancing antibacterial activity towards periodontal pathogens.

The objectives of the research align with the conditions of the 2018 Australian Dental Industry Association Research Grant which provide funding for projects that may, following commercialisation, support the development of new and / or innovative dental and oral healthcare treatment pathways or products.

Assoc. Prof. O’Brien-Simpson is a principal research fellow at the Melbourne Dental School within the University of Melbourne and a project manager for the Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre.The research project will be supported by Dr Jason Lenzo and Dr James Holden, both from the Melbourne Dental School.

The Australian Dental Industry Association Research Grant is bestowed directly ADRF and grant applications should be forwarded to the foundation.

Further Information —

For further information on the Australian Dental Industry Association Research Award send an email to or telephone 1300 943 094.  To keep up to date follow ADIA on Facebook at or subscribe to the Twitter feed @AusDental.

Currency Of Information & Disclaimer —

This update was issued on 17 April 2018 and please note that changes in circumstances after the publication of material or information may impact upon its accuracy and also change regulatory compliance obligations. The statements, regulatory and technical information contained herein are believed to be accurate and are provided for information purposes only. Readers are responsible for assessing its relevance and verifying the accuracy of the content. To the fullest extent permitted by law, ADIA will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred in relation to or arising as a result of relying on the information presented here. 


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