Research Group in Periodontics
The organizer of this research group, Professor Magda Feres, completed her doctoral studies when enrolled in the Oral Biology Program at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (1996-1999). During her PhD program, she developed a project at the Forsyth Institute (Boston, MA, USA) that provided an opportunity for her to work with two renowned researchers in the areas of Periondontics and Oral Microbiology, Dr. Sigmund Socransky and Dr. Anne Haffajee. Dr. Socransky developed the microbiological technique, Checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization, in order to evaluate complex microbiological ecosystems, such as oral biofilm. This technique has been adopted by the microbiology laboratory at UNG University by Prof. Magda Feres and has facilitated the development of a considerable number of studies related to the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. To date, there are only a few laboratories worldwide that perform Checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization.
During her stay at Harvard and the Forsyth Institute, Prof. Magda Feres also had the opportunity to participate in clinical studies directed by Dr. Max Goodson and contributed to by various members of the Forsyth Institute, Harvard, and Boston and Tufts Universities. The objective was to discuss the experimental design of different clinical studies that had been conducted at the Forsyth Institute’s Periodontal Center in order to exchange information for data analysis and to discuss the results of different scientific studies. Prof. Magda Feres has directly applied this training to research performed at UNG University, and as a result several internationally recognized high-quality, randomized, and controlled clinical studies have been conducted to test various periodontal therapies.
Other qualified members of the group have developed different types of studies that are applicable to the field of Periodontics. For example, Prof. Luciene Figueiredo, Prof. Marcelo de Faveri, and Prof. Bruno Bueno have experience with various microbiological methods, including bacterial culturing, modeling of multispecies biofilms, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), RNA oligonucleotide quantification technique (ROQT), and genetic sequencing analyses. The use of these techniques has facilitated both in vitro and in vivo studies to test the ability of various antimicrobial substances to control the formation of biofilm.
In addition to microbiological methods, a subset of professors in this group also use methods from the fields of immunology and molecular biology to evaluate a host’s response to periodontal and peri-implant infections. Specifically, Prof. Jamil Awad Shibli, Prof. Poliana Mendes Duarte, Prof. Gabriela Giro, and Prof. Marta Bastos are developing studies relevant to the fields of Periodontics and Implantology by using histological, histomorphometric, and immunohistochemical analyses, as well as real-time PCR gene expression, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), and multiplex trials, to evaluate multiple biomarkers.
Various studies conducted by this group have been recognized by both national and international organizations. As a result, reliable financial support has been obtained for this research group. In particular, the majority of the studies developed have been financed by FAPESP and CNPq. Funding has also been received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) for the development of clinical studies that investigate periodontal therapies performed in Brazil in collaboration with the Forsyth Institute, under the direction of Dr. Anne Haffajee and Prof. Magda Feres. Researchers from this group are also frequently invited to give courses and lectures in Brazil and worldwide, thereby demonstrating their level of recognition by the wider scientific community. Finally, the Periodontics group at UNG University is one of the groups with the best record of articles published in high-impact scientific journals in this field, thus further expanding the Program’s international reputation.
Research Group in Restorative Dentistry
The research group in Restorative Dentistry is coordinated by Professor José Augusto Rodrigues, who completed his Masters and PhD at the Piracicaba School of Dentistry, UNICAMP. One of his main activities is directed to the development and understanding of the possible mechanisms of bleaching agent interactions with dental hard tissues. In vitro and in situ study models have been used to evaluate the possible adverse effects on enamel. He also conducted a postdoctoral project at University of Florida, in Gainesville, USA, on the evaluation of new bulk-fill materials. Bulk-fill composites have been evaluated in our labs since 2007, when Prof. Andre F. Reis conducted the studies on the first bulk-fill composite launched (Surefil SDR Flow) in collaboration with Dentsply Caulk (USA). The first studies with this material were conducted in our labs at Guarulhos University.
The interaction of light activation sources and several direct and indirect restorative materials, such as composite resin and resin cements or indirect, such as ceramics has been investigated.
Prof. Andre Reis also conducted studies at the University of North Carolina, where he improved his skills on Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy. These techniques are used on the study of dental hard tissues and the interaction mechanisms with different adhesive materials at the ultramorphological level.
The research experience includes several mechanical tests, electron microscopy techniques and FTIR spectroscopy. Microtensile bond strength, microshear bond strength, push-out bond strength, surface roughness analysis, microhardness, and ageing simulation are some of the tests used.
High power laser research has been incorporated into project studies conducted by Prof. Alessandra Cassoni Ferreira and others researchers of the group that evaluates the interaction between both dental and biomaterials with high power laser. The Laser Center was created, has a dental office, and is equipped for both clinical service and in vitro studies.
In vivo clinical trials are at present being conducted in order to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of recently developed materials and techniques. Another member of the Group is Prof. Marina G. Roscoe, who concluded her Master’s in Operative Dentistry (UFU) and PhD in Dental Materials (FO-USP). She gained experience in Systematic Reviews during her studies at the Aarhus University in Denmark, and completes the study models of our research group for producing knowledge and scientific evidence.
The Study Group in Restorative Dentistry is working on various projects in collaboration with international research centers of excellence, such as the University of Florida, in Gainesville, USA; University of Tokyo, in Tokyo, Japan and the New York University, USA with student exchange programs and collaborative studies. The researchers have received funding from the Brazilian government, especially from the São Paulo State Research Foundation.
Research Group in Implantology
The Research Group in Implantology is coordinated by Prof. Jamil Awad Shibli, who completed his MSc and PhD at the Araraquara Dental Faculty, UNESP and has a postdoctoral qualification from the Ribeirão Preto Dental Faculty, USP. During his doctoral studies, he spent part of his time at the State University of New York (Buffalo, NY, USA), where he worked with Dr. Robert Genco and Dr. Joseph Zambon, both renowned international researchers in the area of Periodontics and Implantology. The other members of the Implantology group include Dr. José Augusto Rodrigues, Dr. Alessandra Cassoni Ferreira, and Dr. Gabriela Giro Araujo. These faculty members have qualifications in various areas and are involved in international collaborations with different research centers of excellence, such as the Forsyth Institute (Boston, MA, USA) and University of Florida (Gainesville, FL, USA).
In addition, this research group is working on various studies in partnership with highly regarded international researchers in the areas of Biomaterials and Implants, such as Dr. Adriano Piattelli from University of Chieti, Italy; Dr. Piattelli (author of more than 720 studies that have been published in high-impact journals within the field of Implantology): Dr. Paulo G. Coelho of New York University; Dr. David D. Ehrferst of the University of Geneva, Switzerland; and Dr. José Luiz Calvo-Guirado of University of Murcia, Spain. Partnerships have been established between the Implantology group and other Brazilian universities, such as FOAr-UNESP, FORP-USP, FO-USP, and UFU. These collaborations, which result in a high level of productivity, have been supported by research funding obtained from research organizations and businesses. Collaborations with researchers and postdoctoral fellows (funded by CNPq and CAPES) have further facilitated an exchange of projects and methods, thereby enhancing the high level of scientific productivity in peer-reviewed journals, as well as textbooks, which are attributed to this group.
The Implantology Group is working on various further projects to improve their understanding of the behavior and maintenance of implant-supported restorations. In parallel, peri-implant diseases have been evaluated, as well as the impact of local factors (including both macro- and microstructures) and systemic factors (e.g., smoking, osteoporosis, diabetes), using clinical indexes, x-rays, mechanical trials, and histological, histomorphological, immunological, microbiological, and immunohistochemical analyses. In addition, the Implantology group has recently incorporated research evaluating zirconium and changes in implant surfaces with the use of high power lasers into its projects.