About Us

The Salivary Research Group encompasses a group of clinicians, scientists, students, and postdoctoral research fellows who share a common interest in the salivary glands and saliva. Collectively, the research interests of our members include, but are not limited to, the following areas of research:

1. Structure-function-relationship between saliva and its components in health and disease

2. Physiology and physiopathology of salivary glands

3. Association of salivary gland dysfunction with autoimmune diseases e.g. Sjögrens Syndrome

4. Salivary gland dysfunction due to radiation therapy for the head and neck malignancies, aging, and other diseases

5. Biology of stem cells and development of the salivary glands

6. Salivary gland engineering and regenerative therapies

7. Saliva as a diagnostic fluid

Given the growing appreciation of the importance of saliva to overall health and the utility of saliva for disease diagnosis, the interest in our group continues to expand. Our group has been recognized by the council of the IADR since 1972, and consists currently of more than 230 members across the globe.

The Salivary Research Group is committed to supporting future salivary gland researchers by recognizing excellence in salivary gland research. We sponsor an annual research award for trainees and the salivary researcher of the year award. Additionally, The Salivary Research Group issues multiple sponsored travel awards targeting dental students, dental scientists, and non-dental students and postdoctoral fellows.

 

Our Beginnings - An account by Colin Dawes

The SRG officially began its activities in 1972, when its formation was accepted by the Council of IADR.  However, the need for such a Group was felt as early as 1966, when 15 individuals met on the evening of March 24, at the IADR meeting in Miami, Florida, to discuss their common interests in saliva and salivary glands. This led to the publication of a few issues of a Saliva Society Newsletter, with David Bixler, of Indiana University, as the editor. The Newsletter largely included short abstracts of the types of salivary research being carried out or planned by interested individuals.

The newsletter was then expanded by Ira Shannon and Richard Suddick who, in 1971, were able to develop a list of 86 IADR members and 9 non-IADR members who supported the formation of an official IADR Group. They also developed a Constitution and Bylaws document, which was necessary before approval for the Group could be sought. The first President of the SRG was Dr. Ira Shannon, who was located at various air force establishments or VA hospitals in Texas. He typically had extremely large numbers of subjects for his studies, primarily on parotid saliva, and he once told me that each morning he could have 60 recruits delivered to the door of his laboratory at 6:00 a.m., for placement of a parotid cannula and saliva collection under different conditions. I am not certain that these air force recruits willingly signed a consent form! At present the SRG has a membership of about 370, so clearly the Group has expanded significantly over the last 40 years as the importance of saliva to health has become better appreciated.

 

Constitution

The constitution for the Salivary Research Group was amended and approved in March, 2007.

 

Responsibilities of the Officers

The President shall

  • Preside at all meetings of the Group and Executive Committee
  • Vote in the case of a tie vote by the Group or the Executive Committee
  • Have power to call Executive Committee meetings
  • Make all appointments, committee or individual, not provided otherwise by the Constitution or By-laws
  • Be responsible for submission of reports to the IADR and an annual written report to the Group.
  • Serve on committee to select award recipients.

The President-Elect shall

  • Assist the President in the performance of his/her duties
  • Preside at the Group and Executive committee meetings in the absence of the President
  • Serve as Chairman of the Program Committee, with a principal task of organizing the Group symposia at IADR annual meetings.
  • Serve on committee to select award recipients.

The Vice-President shall

  • Begin preparations for his/her duties in the following year as President-Elect
  • Update text on the SRG website
  • Organize the Reception at the General Session of the IADR.
  • Serve on committee to select award recipients.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall

  • Keep permanent records of the Group, including the taking of minutes at Group and Executive committee meetings
  • Submit an annual report to the Group and to the Executive Committee of the proceedings of the Group
  • Maintain the financial records of the Group and submit an annual written report (balance sheet) to the Group and to the Executive
  • Be responsible for the collection and disbursement of all funds pertaining to the operation of the Group
  • Verify and approve applications for membership in accordance with the Constitution and By-laws
  • Terminate a member’s membership in accord with the Constitution and By-laws
  • Be responsible for notifying the membership of Group meetings and any mailings to the membership as may be required or as directed by the President
  • Transfer to their successor all Group records, property and funds in their possession.

The Immediate Past-President shall

  • Serve as Group Councillor to the IADR and perform such duties as may be directed as councillor by the IADR Constitution and By-laws
  • Serve as chair on the nominating committee and review and comment on IADR scientific policies

The Director Second Year shall

  • Organize group-sponsored lunch and learning sessions and workshops at the IADR annual meeting
  • Assist the Program Officer (together with the Director First Year) in reviewing SRG abstracts for the IADR Annual meeting

The Director First Year shall

  • Assist the Program Officer in reviewing SRG abstracts for the IADR Annual meeting

 

Current Officer Bios

 

Henk Brand- President

I graduated as a biologist at the Free University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After obtaining my Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam in 1990 and doing postdoctoral research at the department of Internal Medicine of the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, I joined the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA) in 1994. Currently I work at ACTA as an assistant professor on the department of Oral Biochemistry and the department of Medical-Dental Interaction. My main research areas are salivary proteomics, protective functions of saliva and (the relief of) hyposalivation. https://www.linkedin.com/in/henk-brand-3b889782

 

Seunghee Cha- President-elect

I am an Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. My research mainly focuses on the pathogenesis of autoimmune Sjӧgren’s syndrome and identification of stem cell reprogramming factors to restore secretory dysfunction. I also attend our UFCD Oral Medicine Clinic to take care of patients with xerostomia caused by irradiation/chemotherapy for head and neck cancer, bone marrow transplant, or Sjӧgren’s syndrome. For more information, please visit: http://dental.ufl.edu/about/people/faculty/department-of-oral-maxillofacial-diagnostic-sciences/seunghee-cha/

 

Sarah Knox- Immediate Past-President

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco in the Program of Craniofacial Biology within the School of Dentistry. My research focuses on the impact of the peripheral nervous system on salivary gland development, homeostasis and regeneration after injury. We utilize mouse genetics in combination with human samples to explore the identity of stem cells and how neuronal signals influence their behavior. For more information on my studies please visit: http://profiles.ucsf.edu/sarah.knox/

 

Jill Kramer- Vice-President

I am an Assistant Professor at the State University of New York, Buffalo in the Department of Oral Biology. My research focuses on the role of innate immunity in Sjögren’s syndrome. We use mouse models and patient samples to understand how innate immune dysregulation contributes to disease pathogenesis. For further information regarding work in my lab please visit: http://dental.buffalo.edu/OralBiology/AboutOralBiology/home.aspx?f=jkramer.

 

Walter Siqueira- Secretary- Treasurer

I am a tenured associated professor at The University of Western Ontario, Canada. My laboratory has focused on how saliva could be used to improve the health of patients, both as a diagnostic tool and as a therapeutic one. My research has been funded by the CIHR, NSREC, and CFI to identify, characterize and modify salivary and acquired enamel proteins by using proteomics and mass spectrometry. Presently, my research group is using the information generated by proteomic studies to explore the biological function of these salivary/pellicle proteins in enamel homeostasis. For more information on my studies please visit: www.schulich.uwo.ca/siqueiralab

 

Debora Heller- Director First Year 

I am an Assistant Professor at Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul and Researcher at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Sao Paulo, Brazil. During my PhD, I have studied in depth the early processes of dental biofilm formation, the acquired enamel pellicle and the interaction between early biofilm colonizers and proteins and peptides present in the acquired enamel pellicle under the supervision of Dr. Frank Oppenheim. My current research focuses in the area of dental integument modulation, using biotechnology to modulate the anti-caries effects of salivary proteins, as well as the use of salivary fluid as a diagnostic tool for oral and systemic diseases. For more information on my studies, please visit: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=3wvwkxsAAAAJ&hl=en

 

Isabelle M.A. Lombaert- Director Second Year
I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan - School of Dentistry, and received my training in The Netherlands and USA under guidance of Dr. R. Coppes (University Medical Center Groningen) and Dr. M. Hoffman (National Institutes of Health). My lab is located at the Biointerfaces Institute where we focus on the repair of damaged tissues, such as radiated salivary glands, with stem cell-based therapies. More information on our activities and publications can be found on the following website: http://media.dent.umich.edu/labs/lombaert/

 

Olga J. Baker- Group Program Chair

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Utah. I received a D.D.S. from the Central University of Venezuela School of Dentistry in 1992, as well as a Ph.D. in Physiological Sciences from the Central University of Venezuela School of Medicine in 2003. I completed a five-year postdoctoral fellowship and a one-year appointment as a Senior Research Scientist, both in the Departments of Pharmacology and Physiology as well as the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri where I obtained a K08 training grant from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and a research grant from the Sjögren’s syndrome Foundation. In 2009, I became an Assistant Professor at the University of Buffalo. During my four and a half years at UB, I obtained three grants (two R01s and one R21) from NIDCR and published in several peer-reviewed journals. In 2014, I became tenure at the University of Buffalo but shortly left to become an Associate Professor at the University of Utah. During my time in Utah I obtained two Administrative Supplements and renewed one of my R01s. Moreover, I started a company to Develop dental products (which include various saliva substitutes). My ongoing research focuses on studying resolvins in salivary glands as a therapeutic option for Sjögren’s syndrome and salivary gland regeneration as a therapeutic option for salivary gland hypofunction. I am a standing member of a NIH study section and have served as ad hoc in several other NIH study sections (including National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences NCATS). I am an active participant in many scientific meetings, organizing symposia and presenting my own research. I have also participated in government affairs activities, going to Washington D.C. to advocate on behalf of dental, oral, and craniofacial research.

 

Madison Day- Public Relations Officer

My name is Madison Day, I was born in Seattle Washington but grew up in Salt Lake City Utah. I love to trail run and hike, bike, and explore the beautiful nature in my home state. I obtained my bachelors of science in chemistry with an emphasis in health care in 2015 from Southern Utah University. I was very active in campus life while there, being the president of a marketing club and sorority and the Vice President of student government. I am the third class at the University of Utah school of dentistry and am pursuing my DDS currently. I enjoy seeing patients but most importantly educating them. I love to teach and hope to make a difference in each of my patients' lives. I am the current president in our chapter of ASDA and the secretary of the pediatrics club and am very excited to serve as the salivary research group PR position. I was fortunate enough to do research with Dr. Olga Baker in her lab at the U this last summer of 2016, and travel to IADR to present it. I cannot wait for what this year has in store! 

 

 

 

SHARE THIS

 

OUR OFFICERS

President: 
Henk Brand

President-Elect: 
Seunghee Cha

Vice-President: 
Jill Kramer

Immediate Past President: 
Sarah Knox

Second Year Director: 
Isabelle M.A. Lombaer

First Year Director: 
Débora Heller

Secretary and Treasurer: 
Walter L. Siqueira

Group Program Chair: 
Olga J. Baker

PR officer:
Madison Day