University of Louisville Magazine

FALL 2017

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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25 FALL 2017 P eriodontal disease is a common struggle for many Americans, affecting half of U.S. adults over 30. Now, a researcher at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry is embarking on a promising study to help control it after earning a nearly $2 million grant. Huizhi Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Oral Immunology and Infec- tious Diseases, earned the five-year grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofa- cial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health. A chronic inflammatory disease, periodontal disease affects gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss but people can get the disease even if they take good care of their teeth. Research shows it also is associated with other chronic inflammatory diseases and may be linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and stom- ach and colon cancers. Periodontal disease is caused by the body's uncontrolled inflammatory immune response to bacteria in the mouth, specifically P. gingiva- lis. Everyone has lots of different bacteria and fungi in their mouth, Wang said, but in some peo- ple, the immune system overreacts to P. gingivalis with ferocious inflammation. That inflammation causes periodontis, not the bacteria. Wang and his team have identified an intra- cellular molecule, serum glucocorticoid-induced kinase-1 (SGK1), that may have anti-inflam- matory properties. SGK1 is a molecule usually focused on metabolism, but preliminary evidence has indicated it also may be involved in the body's anti-inflammatory responses. Wang will set out to see if SGK1's abilities will expand outside a cell. "Will this molecule work in a different system? That's what we want to find out," he said. In the long term, Wang's work could pave the way for the development of novel anti-inflam- matory agents to reduce or prevent not only P. gingivalis-induced tissue destruction, but also other chronic inflammatory disorders in general. Dental researcher aims to end inflammatory disease Readiness of public access defibrillators alarmingly low No national standards exist for automated external defibrillator (AED) maintenance or registration with manufacturers, making these practices voluntary and highly vari- able. At the same time, regions where there is a high degree of unregistered AEDs also show a much greater chance that these devices will fail. That's the finding of a study conducted by Brad Sutton, assis- tant professor of medicine and assistant dean for health strategy and innovation. "We found that the percent- age of public access AEDs that fail standardized testing is high, and the incidence of potentially life-threatening malfunction is underreported," Sutton said. A total of 322 AEDs at 190 pub- lic, non-hospital settings in four geographically distinct regions — Seattle; Suffolk County, New York; Central Illinois; and Louisville — were tested. The team found that 21 percent of the devices failed at least one phase of testing. Five percent had expired batteries, fail- ing to power on at all, rendering them useless. AEDs found in areas where there was a higher rate of registration were significantly more likely to pass testing. AED registration was greater than 80 percent in both Seattle and Suffolk County, with zero battery failures found in Seat- tle and only 2 percent in Suffolk County. By comparison, both Louisville and Central Illinois had registration rates of less than 25 percent and higher rates of test failure — 19.8 percent in Louisville and 38.2 per- cent in Central Illinois. "Our data suggest that register- ing AEDs correlates with increased likelihood that the device will pass testing and be operational if car- diac arrest occurs," Sutton said. Huizhi Wang in a dental lab at UofL.

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