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Department News - December 2012/January 2013

Biomedical Sciences


Dr. Rena D’Souza has been elected into the membership of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Members of the academy recommended D’Souza, who will belong to the subsection of Stomatology. Election to the Leopoldina recognizes the scientific achievements and personal standing of the recipient.

As the oldest German-speaking society of scholars, the Leopoldina was founded in 1652. In 2008, it was designated as the National Academy of Sciences. Its headquarters is in Halle an der Saale, Germany.  Approximately 75 percent of its members are from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and 25 percent come from other countries.

D’Souza will be formally inducted into the society during a ceremony in summer 2013. Members who are not from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are not expected to serve in the working groups that advise policy makers, but may be asked to contribute advice in their area of expertise and participate in organizing scientific events, perhaps in collaboration with similar societies in their home countries.



Wang X, Wang S, Li C, Gao T, Liu Y, Rangiani A, Sun Y, Hao J, George A, Lu Y, Groppe J, Yuan B, Feng JQ, Qin C. Inactivation of a novel FGF23 regulator, FAM20C, leads to hypophosphatemic rickets in mice. PLoS Genetics 2012; 8(5): e1002708. 

Zhu Q, Prasad M, Kong H, Lu Y, Sun Y, Wang X, Yamoah A, Feng JQ, Qin C. Partial blocking of mouse DSPP processing by substitution of Gly(451)-Asp(452) bond suggests the presence of secondary cleavage site(s). Connective Tissue Research 2012; 53(4):301-312.

Strom TA, Arora A, Osborn B, Karim N, Komabayashi T, Lui X. Endodontic release system for apexification using calcium hydroxide microspheres. Journal of Dental Research 2012; 91(11): 1055-59.

Benson MD, Serrano MJ. Ephrin regulation of palate development. Frontiers in Physiology 2012; 3:376. 

Benson MD, Opperman LA, Westerlund J, Fernandez DR, San Miguel S, Henkemeyer M, Chenaux G. Ephrin-B stimulation of calvarial bone formation. Developmental Dynamics 2012.



Dr. Xiaohua Liu gave a presentation titled “Poly (L-lactic acid) Nano-Structured Microspheres for Dental Tissue Engineering” at the Third Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society World Congress, which was Sept. 5-8 in Vienna.

Liu also presented “Nano-Structured Injectable Biomaterials for Tissue Regeneration” at the 20th Anniversary BioEnvironmental Polymer Society Conference in Denton, Texas, which took place Sept. 18-21.

On Nov. 7, Dr. Chunlin Qin gave an invited talk at the School of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Rochester Medical Center. He discussed “DMP1 and FAM20C (DMP4) in Biomineralization and Phosphate Homeostasis.”

Dr. Kathy Svoboda attended the American Society for Matrix Biology meeting in San Diego from Nov. 10-14 and presented a poster on the department’s scaffold project.


Dental Hygiene


On Oct. 7, Lisa Mallonee co-presented “RDs in Dentistry: A Match Made in Healthcare” to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Philadelphia.

Mallonee also presented a full-day course on Oct. 26 titled “Nutrition and Oral Health for Today’s Dental Practice” to an audience at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in St. Paul, Minn.




Dr. Maria del Pilar Valderrama earned her fellowship in the International Team for Implantology. As part of the honor, Valderrama presented “SLA vs. SLActive” on Oct. 13 during the ITI fellows’ meeting in Andover, Mass. Her presentation detailed her research comparing implant surfaces in humans and animals.

Dr. David Cochran, president elect of ITI and chairman of periodontics at the Dental School at UT Health Science Center San Antonio, nominated Valderrama for the fellowship, which was founded in 1980 and now has more than 800 fellows.