International Partners in Health
Fulbright Scholar Chooses NYUCD for Opportunity to Study with Dr. Racquel Z. LeGeros

Kanthi Lewis and Dr. LeGeros in Dr. LeGeros’s lab.

For the past year, Ms. Kanthi Lewis, a PhD candidate in science from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, has been conducting research at NYUCD under the guidance of Dr. Racquel Z. LeGeros, Associate Chair and Professor of Biomaterials & Biomimetics and Linkow Professor of Implant Dentistry, thanks to a Fulbright Doctoral Scholarship. Ms. Lewis has been investigating whether liposomes -- spherical bilayer membranes that transport fat molecules that accumulate in the bloodstream, causing arteries to calcify -- can be integrated into calcium phosphate compounds used in bone remineralization.

“I chose to do this research at NYUCD because of the chance to work with Dr. LeGeros, one of the world’s leading innovators in calcium phosphate research,” says Ms. Lewis, who plans a career in biomaterials research. In collaboration with Dr. LeGeros, she is evaluating the liposomes’ potential for improving the ability of these compounds to calcify -- or remineralize -- diseased or missing sections of bone. Dr. LeGeros pioneered research on calcification’s impact on oral and systemic function, and is an authority on the development of calcium phosphate–based biomaterials for use in bone repair, replacement, and regeneration.

“Kanthi is the first researcher I know to investigate liposomes for bone formation,” says Dr. LeGeros. “I’ve been impressed with her innovative spirit ever since Dr. Besim Ben-Nissam, a Professor at the University of Technology, introduced her to me at a biomaterials conference in Japan several years ago.”

The Fulbright Program, established by Congress in 1945, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program. Fulbright Scholarships are awarded to both foreign and U.S. graduate students. Ms. Lewis is one of 13 Australians who received Fulbright Scholarships for the 2007– 08 academic year.