assistant professor annie shrestha

Awards and accolades for U of T Dentistry students, profs

Research project wins Colgate CARE grant

CARE, a program funded by Colgate Palmolive, has awarded assistant professor Annie Shrestha a US $30,000 research grant to further her innovative research on immune cells.

The CARE program recognizes emerging academic researchers in a variety of disciplines. Shrestha’s project is titled, “Injectable, Thermosensitive Scaffolds Modulate Immune Cells and Regulates Healing.”

“The CARE Program fosters the development of junior faculty by providing seed research funding to emerging leaders in academia at a time in their career path when it is most needed,” said Maria Ryan, vice president and chief dental officer, global technology at Colgate, in a statement.  

This is the second Colgate CARE award received by the Faculty of Dentistry in recent years. In 2017, assistant professor Karina Carneiro was awarded a CARE grant for her work on nanomaterial organization.


Plant-based analgesics seed collaborative research grant

Professor Barry Sessle has been awarded a US $24,000 research grant from Fortaleza University (UNIFOR) in Brazil. The grant will further an international research collaboration identifying novel plant-derived analgesics to combat orofacial pain.

Not just a component of a calming herbal tea, Bisabotol, which can be found in some cosmetics, is also known for its antimicrobial and accelerated wound healing properties

For the past four years, Sessle, along with professor Adriana Rolim from the UNIFOR Experimental Biology Centre, has been working alongside a multidisciplinary network of international researchers in fields as diverse as electrophysiology, behavioural testing, genetics and immunohistochemistry. U of T’s researchers include assistant professors Limor Avivi-Arber and Pavel Cherkas, as well as postdoctoral fellows Luana Melo and Graziella Molska.

One of the plant targets being investigated is Bisabotol, an essential oil sourced from plants such as chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Not just a component of a calming herbal tea, Bisabotol, which can be found in some cosmetics, is also known for its antimicrobial and accelerated wound healing properties. The researchers found that the substance attenuates processes in the brain that underlie orofacial pain. The team is also investigating other plant products, as well as existing drugs that might be repurposed as pain relievers.

From 2001-2014, Sessle held a Canada Research Chair in Craniofacial Pain and Neuromuscular Function, and was dean of the Faculty of Dentistry from 1990-2001. 


Ortho grad program makes an impact with book chapter

Several members of the graduate orthodontics specialty program are seeing the fruits of their labours via a chapter they contributed to the upcoming publication, Advanced Dental Biomaterials.

Orthodontics graduate program residents Mohamed-Nur Abdallah, Tiantong Lou, along with specialty program director Sunjay Suri, will see the book published by Elsevier in June, 2019. The chapter, “Biomaterials used in orthodontics: brackets, archwires and clear aligners,” also features a collaborative author from McGill University, orthodontics program director Jean-Marc Retrouvey.



Photo: assistant professor Annie Shrestha, courtesy Jeff Comber