Julia Davies was recently awarded SEK 150 000 from Eklund Foundation. On her recent visit to TePe Oral Hygiene Products, she presented the outline of a study aiming to predict the onset of severe disease in patients with periodontitis.
The 2021 Eklund Foundation Scholarship for the promotion of Odontological research at Malmö University was awarded to Julia Davies for her project “Novel Predictive Biomarkers for Periodontitis”.
Julia Davies, please, tell us more about this project!
We focus both on gaining a better understanding of the disease process and using this knowledge to discover predictive biomarkers for severe disease in periodontitis. We hope that the biomarkers we identify will allow us to find those patients who are at risk of losing teeth, despite good treatment and meticulous self-care. It would mean that resources in the form of biotherapeutics as well as precision care tailored to individual needs could be concentrated on these high-risk patients before the disease becomes more severe.
How will you find the participants for the study?
The patients are being recruited from the Public Dental Health in Skåne. Over three years, samples will be collected from two groups of ‘high risk’ and ‘low risk’ patients, 25 of each, so in total, 50 patients.
What about previous studies in this field?
There are previous attempts to identify predictive biomarkers for this disease. However, their focus on specific microorganisms in oral biofilms or individual factors such as genetic predisposition, have been largely unsuccessful. Most likely, it is a question of a very complex interplay between different factors.
What kind of competencies are involved in this study?
The group includes a wide range of expertise including, periodontology and study design, clinical sampling and analysis, microbiology, cell biology, inflammation and oral ecology.
What does the funding from Eklund Foundation mean to you and your project?
My colleagues and I are very grateful and honoured to be awarded this scholarship. Besides helping us to carry out our project successfully, it contributes to the visibility and recognition of our research.
Thank you for the interview! It will be very interesting to follow your research.
The Eklund Foundation scholarship was instituted to promote odontological research with a focus on oral health at the Faculty of Odontology at Malmö University. It has been distributed by the Eklund Foundation since 2017.