American Academy of Periodontology, Sunstar Announce 2019 Innovation Grant Recipients

10 October 2019

Visit our SUNSTAR booth this week at the AAP Congress in Chicago. We will be sharing our latest news from our oral care brands, GUIDOR and GUM as well as awarding the last recipients of the SUNSTAR AAP Innovation Grant.

As announced by the American Association of Periodontology:

Members Kevin M. Byrd, DDS, PhD, Maria L. Geisinger, DDS, MS, and Chun-Teh Lee, DDS, MS, DMSc are the 2019 recipients of the SUNSTAR Innovation Grant. They will each receive $30,000 for their research projects as part of the AAP’s partnership with oral health and technology company SUNSTAR, which has committed to awarding scientific grants to AAP members whose investigations show significant potential to advance the specialty of periodontics.

Dr. Byrd’s research project, “An Atlas of Experimental Gingivitis in Humans at Single Cell Resolution,” aims to develop chairside tools to predict gingivitis to periodontitis conversion (i.e. at-risk individuals) and to develop specific adjuvant therapies for periodontitis-afflicted individuals based on the principles of precision medicine. “Recently, there has been an exponential increase in our understanding of human diseases,” says Dr. Byrd. “However, even for common oral diseases like periodontitis, we have just begun to grasp the complexity of interactions at play.”

Dr. Geisinger’s research project, “Development of Multimedia Educational Materials for Caregivers to Enable Optimal Oral Hygiene Provisions for Patients with Dementia,” intends to develop multimedia tools that can be used to educate professional and familial caregivers for patients with moderate to severe dementia about delivery of oral hygiene. “Our team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in conjunction with our geriatric specialist nursing faculty, has developed a protocol that reduces care resistant behavior during oral hygiene delivery to dementia patients,” says Dr. Geisinger.

Dr. Lee’s research project, “Improving Periodontal Health through a Precision Periodontal Health Care Chart,” aims to effectively educate patients, monitor their risk profile for periodontitis progression, and improve treatment outcomes using a Precision Periodontal Health Care Chart in the electronic health record system. According to Dr. Lee, “The Precision Periodontal Health Care Chart will provide patients information about the association between periodontitis and systemic diseases and a personal risk profile for periodontitis.”

As part of the Innovation Grant program, SUNSTAR has committed $250,000 towards six research grants to select AAP members over a three-year period, which began in 2017. Members of the AAP’s Research Submissions Committee examine all abstracts against criteria established by SUNSTAR and the Academy. Drs. Bird, Geisinger and Lee are the fourth, fifth and sixth recipients of the award. “These three projects have the potential to have a profound impact on the practice of periodontics and the quality of care received by periodontal patients,” says Richard T. Kao, DDS, PhD, president of the AAP. “SUNSTAR’s continued generosity in backing this important research will contribute to the impact of the specialty for years to come. The Academy greatly appreciates SUNSTAR’s longstanding dedication to furthering the science and practice of periodontics.”