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Publications > Academic Bulletin > Department of Science and Craniofacial Biology

Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology

Nicola C. Partridge, PhD, Chair
Eric Baker, M.Phil, Associate Chair

The Department of Basic Science is one of the largest departments in the College, established by the fusion of six separate departments under one chair. NYUCD is one of a handful of private dental schools with its own basic science faculty. The faculty participates in all aspects of the college life: education, scholarly activity, clinical teaching, and service. In addition, they teach in all programs of the College: graduate, postgraduate, and allied health. Members of the department are nationally and internationally renowned scientists, educators, and academic leaders.

The Department of Basic Science has an active research program that conducts basic and translational research in each of the areas of emphasis at the College. These include (1) cancer, (2) tissue engineering, (3) infectious diseases, and (4) bone biology.

In cancer, the research ranges from fundamental mechanisms of apoptosis and programmed cell death (Kathleen Kinnally, Laurent Dejean), to work on studying premalignant to malignant cell transformation using human oral epithelial cells (Peter Sacks). The latter includes research on mutagenesis in lacZ mice (Joseph Guttenplan), investigations of tobacco use and oral cancer (Joseph Guttenplan, Peter Sacks), and the role of bacteria and inflammation in oral cancer (Sacks, Deepak Saxena).

The work in tissue engineering focuses on muscle, cartilage and hard tissues (Louis Terracio, Cristina Teixeira, Nicola Partridge) with the long-range goal of developing artificial tissues that could be used to repair damaged or lost craniofacial tissues.

Studies in infectious diseases focus on caries and biofilms and the oral aspects of HIV/AIDS. One group of investigators (Deepak Saxena, Robert Boylan, Simone Duarte, Yihong Li, Page Caufield) brings expertise ranging from molecular biology of oral pathogens to molecular epidemiology. The other group (Daniel Malamud, Bill Abrams, David Levy, Deepak Saxena, Yihong Li) investigates the oral manifestation of HIV/AIDS and anti-HIV therapies. This group has NIH funding that brings together the faculty from basic and clinical research at the College of Dentistry, School of Medicine and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Institute and is generating the only bank of specimens from HIV positive subjects pre- and post HAART treatment.

Dr. Nicola Partridge was recruited as the new chair of the department in 2009 to specifically build the bone biology program. At present, she, Timothy Bromage, John Evans and Cristina Teixeira conduct research ranging from structure of proteins involved in mineralization (John Evans) to scanning EM structure of teeth and bones (Timothy Bromage) to transcriptional regulation of the cells and genes in bone and cartilage (Nicola Partridge, Cristina Teixeira). Members of the department have close collaborations with the bone research group in Biomaterials at NYU College of Dentistry and also with the NYU School of Medicine.

In addition, the department has fundamental research projects going on in various areas including oral-systemic disease linkage and Practice Based Research Network (Ronald Craig), and oral-based diagnostics (Daniel Malamud, Bill Abrams).

The faculty of the Department of Basic Science teaches approximately 20 percent of the graduate and postgraduate curricula. Most of the graduate teaching occurs in the first two years of the curriculum. These courses are coded as D10.... and are all team taught, sometimes with other departments.

For a complete course listing, visit DDS course inventory 2013-2014