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Faculty member honored for innovative oral care

Dental school alum is developing non-surgical treatment for a common inflammatory problem

Alireza Moshaverinia PhD ’12 has earned a research award that will lead to the development of a novel treatment for patients suffering from peri-implantitis.

The 2015 International Association for Dental Research Innovation in Oral Care Award, which can be worth up to $75,000 and lasts one year, was given to only three recipients worldwide. 
Co-sponsored by the International Association for Dental Research and GlaxoSmithKline, the award is intended to help investigators pursue innovative research in oral care.

Alireza Moshaverinia PhD

Alireza Moshaverinia is one of three researchers to receive the award. (Photo/John Skalicky)

The money will help Moshaverinia develop a non-surgical treatment for peri-implantitis — one of the most common inflammatory complications following dental implant. Co-investigators include Homa Zadeh, an associate professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, and Ali Khademhosseini, professor at Harvard-MIT’s Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Current options

Peri-implantitis can cause irreversible bone and soft tissue loss around the implant. Current treatment options are limited to bone grafting and tissue augmentation, both of which have major disadvantages including potential infection, prolonged bleeding, nerve damage and jaw fracture.

Using an injectable adhesive hydrogel — with both anti-inflammatory/antimicrobial properties and gingival mesenchymal stem cells — the proposed treatment would not only be effective against inflammation, it would also promote bone and tissue growth, without the need for surgery.

The long-term goal of this proposal is to introduce a promising approach for the improved treatment of peri-implant bone loss.

Alireza Moshaverinia

“The long-term goal of this proposal is to introduce a promising approach for the improved treatment of peri-implant bone loss and to extend it to the repair of maxillofacial and skeletal defects paving the way for improved hard tissue regeneration in the clinics,” Moshaverinia said.

The junior faculty member, who earned a doctor of dental surgery degree from Iran and a master of science degree in dental biomaterial from Ohio State University, began his career at the Ostrow School as a dual-degree student, pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree in craniofacial biology and an advanced certificate in advanced prosthodontics. He joined the USC faculty in 2014.

“During my time as a student at Ostrow, I was inspired by the work of our faculty working on craniofacial tissue engineering at the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology,” he said. “Now my goal as a faculty member is to perpetuate basic and clinical knowledge and inspire learning in my own students.”

Moshaverinia will be honored at an award reception in mid-March.

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Faculty member honored for innovative oral care

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