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Robert Spears

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Member of the GSBS Faculty

3302 Gaston Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75246
Phone: 214-828-8297
Fax: 214-874-4538

Education and Post-Graduate Training

Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, College Station, TX (2002)

M.S., Anatomy, Baylor University, Dallas, TX  (1994)

B.S., Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX  (1979)

Career History

Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry (2013-present)

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry (2008-2013)

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry (2002-2008)

Instructor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry (1994-2002)

Electron Microscopy Technician, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Dentistry (1988-1994)

Research Technician II, Department of Biomaterials Science, Baylor College of Dentistry (1985-1988)

Teaching Interests

Teaching responsibilities include:

Gross Anatomy, Histology, Oral Histology (Course Director), Cell Biology, Microscopy and Associated Techniques (Course Director)

Research Interests

Dr. Robert Spears has focused his research efforts towards the elucidation of signal transduction mechanisms during inflammatory joint diseases using an animal model of adjuvant-induced inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. Of particular interest is the role that different inflammatory mediators may play in the process, with emphasis upon the interaction between elements of the immune and nervous system.

Recently, his research efforts have shifted to include examination of the involvement of proinflammatory cytokines, with particular emphasis on tumor necrosis factor-, and how signaling from its death domain-containing receptor might lead to involvement of apoptosis.

He is presently using cell and tissue culture techniques to investigate potential involvement of apoptosis in the onset and exacerbation of inflammation.

Additionally, Dr. Spears serves as the Director for Student Research at BCD and is also one of the two American Association of Dental Research National Student Research Faculty Advisors.

Recent Grants

  • Bridge to Dentistry: Awareness to Practicing/Teaching/Research.  HRSA.  Co-I, 2012-2017.
  • Physical and biological properties of a new endodontic material.  American Association of Endodontists Foundation.  Co-PI, 2010-2011.
  • Use of a novel microstimulatory device to treat chronic pain.  NIH/NIDCR SBIR Phase I. PI, 2010-2011. 
  • Use of a novel microstimulatory device to treat chronic pain. ARRA Supplement  NIH/NIDCR SBIR Phase I. Co-PI, 2009-2010. 
  • Assessment of osseous wound healing using HemCon dental dressing.  American Association of Endodontists Foundation. PI, 2009-2010.

Selected Publications

  1. Spears R, Leite LP, Schnell RA, Dellinges M, Brooks HE, Itaya LE.   AEGD programs: Why now, why more?  J Dent Ed 77:17-23, 2013.
  2. Hess D, Solomon E, Spears R, He J.  Retreatability of a bioceramic root canal sealing material.  J Endod 37:1547-49, 2011.
  3. Rios A, He J, Glickman GN, Spears R, Schneiderman ED, Honeyman AL.  Evaluation of photodynamic therapy using a light-emitting diode lamp against Enterococcus faecalis in extracted human teeth.  J Endod 37:856-859, 2011.
  4. Azargoon H, Williams BJ, Solomon ES, Kessler HP, He J, Spears R.  Assessment of hemostatic efficacy and osseous wound healing using HemCon dental dressing.  J Endod 37:807-811, 2011.
  5. Washington JT, Schneiderman E, Spears R, Fernandez CR, He J, Opperman LA.  Biocompatibility and osteogenic potential of new generation endodontic materials using primary osteoblasts.  J Endod 37:1166-70, 2011.
  6. Van Bebber L, Campbell P, Honeyman A, Spears R, Buschang P.  Does the amount of filler content in sealants used to prevent decalcification on smooth enamel surfaces really matter?  Angle Orthodontist 81:136-142, 2011.
  7. Foley CH, Kerns DG, Hallmon WW, Rivera-Hidalgo F, Nelson CF, Spears R, Dechow PC, Opperman LA.  Effect of phosphate treatment of acid-etched implants on mineral apposition rates near implants in a dog model.  In J Oral Maxillofac Implants 25:278-286, 2010.
  8. Brisceno CE, Rossouw PE, Carrillo R, Spears R, Buschang PH.  Healing of the roots and surrounding structures after intentional damage with miniscrew implants.  Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 135:292-301, 2009.
  9. Hembree M, Buschang PH, Carrillo R, Spears R, Rossouw PE.  Effects of intentional damage of the roots and surrounding structures with miniscrew implants.  Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 135:280.e1-9; discussion 280-281, 2009.
  10. Naidu A, Dechow PC, Spears R, Wright J, Kessler H, Opperman LA.  The effects of bisphosphonates on osteoblasts in vitro.  Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology Oral Radiology & Endodontics 106:5-13, 2008.
  11. Remmers T, Glickman G, Spears R, He J.  The efficacy of IntraFlow intraosseous injection as a primary anesthesia technique.  J Endod 34:280-283, 2008.
  12. Longoria J, Spears R. Oral complications of treatment for head and neck cancer: What you need to know. Grand Rounds Oral-Syst Med 2:54-64, 2007.
  13. Bellinger LL, Spears R, King CM, Dahm F, Hutchins B, Kerins CA, Kramer PR. Capsaicin sensitive neurons role in the inflamed TMJ acute nociceptive response of female and male rats. Physiol Behavior 90:782-789, 2007.
  14. Dacy JA, Spears R, Hallmon WW, Kerns D, Rivera-Hidalgo F, Minevski ZS, Nelson CJ, Opperman LA.  Effects of phosphated titanium and enamel matrix derivatives on osteoblast behavior in vitro. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 1-9, 2007.
  15. Sparks MS, Kerns DG, Wilson TG, Hallmon WW, Spears R, Haghighat N. Bone Regeneration in the canine mandible with cultured fibroblasts in polyglactin mesh. J Periodont 78:1276-1287, 2007.
  16. Ezzie E, Fleury A, Solomon E, Spears R, He J. Efficacy of retreatment techniques for a resin-based root canal obturation material. J Endodontics 32:341-344, 2006.
  17. Spears R, Svoboda KKH. Growth factors and signaling proteins in craniofacial development. Sem Orthodont 11:184-198, 2005.
  18. Spears R, Dees LA, Sapozhnikov M, Bellinger LL and Hutchins, B. Adjuvant application results in altered levels of inflammatory mediators in the trigeminal ganglion and tssues of the temporomandibular joint. J Orofacial Pain, 19:34-40, 2005.
  19. Spears RBaylor College of Dentistry provides students with research opportunities. Texas Dent J 122:470-475, 2005.
  20. Kerins CA, Carlson DS, Hinton RJ, Hutchins B, Grogan DM, Marr K, Kramer PR, Spears R,  Bellinger LL. Specificity of meal pattern analysis as an animal model of determining temporomandibular joint inflammation/pain. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 34: 425–431, 2005.
  21. Al-Awadhi S,Spears R, Gutmann JL, and Opperman LA. Cultured primary osteoblasts viability and apoptosis in the presence of root canal sealers. J Endodontics 30:527-533, 2004.
  22. Trasatti C,Spears R, Guttman JL, and Opperman LA. Increased Tgf-β1 production by rat osteoblasts in the presence of Pep Gen P-15 in vitro. J Endodontics 30:213-217, 2004.  
  23. Spears R, Oakes R, Bellinger LL and Hutchins B. Tumor necrosis factor-α and apoptosis in the rat temporomandibular joint.Arch Oral Biol 48:825-834, 2003.
  24. Spears R, Oakes R, Moore C, Bellinger LL and Hutchins B. A determination of tumor necrosis factor expression in TMJ inflammation using microarray analysis. J Dent Res 82:807-813, 2003.
  25. Kerins CA, Bellinger LL,Spears R and Hutchins B. The prospective use of COX-2 inhibitors for the treatment of temporomandibular joint inflammatory disorders. J Immunopathol Pharmacol 16:19-27, 2003.
  26. Perez AL, Spears R, Gutmann JL and Opperman LA. Osteoblasts and MG-63 osteosarcoma cells behave differently when in contact with ProRoot MTA and white MTA. Int J Endodont 36:1-7, 2003.

Last edited by: aupton 01/29/2015

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