GlycoNet scientist to lead innovative study on treatment of periodontal disease

Wilfrid Laurier University researchers to lead innovative study on treatment of periodontal disease

By Kimberly Elworthy

WATERLOO – Studies have shown problems with oral health are strong co-indicators of other serious diseases including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In 2009, the cost associated with the treatment of periodontal disease was shown to be second only to cardiovascular disease in Canada.

A team of researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University, alongside researchers from McMaster and the University of Toronto, recently received funding from a GlycoNet Collaborative Team Grant to study innovative treatment options for periodontal diseases, specifically exploring ways to disrupt biofilm – such as plaque – to increase the effectiveness of treating harmful oral bacteria.

“To be recognized and funded by the federal government for research excellence puts Laurier in a strong position to create exciting research opportunities that will allow us to attract students and publish impactful research,” said Michael Suits, lead researcher on this project and an assistant professor in Laurier’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The project, entitled, “Novel strategies for treatment of periodontal disease and remediation of oral dysbiosis,” brings together Laurier researchers Geoffrey Horsman, chemistry and biochemistry associate professor; Robin Slawson, chemistry and biochemistry associate professor; and Joel Weadge, biology associate professor. Laurier researchers are working with Eric Brown, a biochemistry and biomedical science professor from McMaster University and Dilani Senadheera, a Faculty of Dentistry assistant professor from the University of Toronto. The group will partner with the Guelph-based company Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc. during the study.

“Mirexus is thrilled to be associated with this powerful group of researchers led by Dr. Suits and Wilfrid Laurier University,” said Phil Whiting, president and CEO of Mirexus. “Glyconet’s support has brought together a unique team to tackle an important problem, and we will be excited to focus on this new opportunity in the commercialization of our unique, natural nanomaterial.”

About GlycoNet
The Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet) is a pan-Canadian, multidisciplinary research network aiming to deliver solutions to important health issues and improve the quality of life of Canadians through the study of glycomics. GlycoNet is funded by the Networks of Centres of Excellence, a Government of Canada program that supports large-scale, academic-led research networks to build research capacity and accelerate the creation of new knowledge in a specific research area.

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